Black Boy Reflection

Decent Essays

In Richard Wright’s autobiography Black Boy, he expresses his life in a string of dramatic events of his emotional, mental and spiritual struggle. He has to pay a bigger price compared to the whites so that his family and himself can survive in the Jim Crow South. He expresses his suffering in a world where most people are against him. Richard goes through many traumatic events, but through these, he learns more about how to survive. Richard’s cost of living included many instances of fighting, lose his job, and even loses parts of his dignity. Only at the age of six, Richard’s mother told him to go grocery shopping. On the way to the store, he was beaten up by a group of gang kids that took his money and ran off, making Richard go …show more content…

This is the unfortunate cost that Richard had to pay as a black man in the Jim Crow South. Richard has not been the only person of color to be beaten, under unreasonable circumstances, and write about it. LeRoy Boyd told a story about how a black person had said something to a white man that the white man was displeased from. The white man then proceeded to grab an axe handle and hit the black person with it: “ He picked up an axe handle and busted him. The white man busted him. Hit him right along there”(Chafe 121). This is how life was for many black people in the south facing against the white people. Once Richard left his job at the clothing store, he quickly got a new job at an optical company because of his friend Griggs. He worked there to clean the lenses after they were put through the polishing machines. At this job, Richard received very harsh and violent harassment by two of his white coworkers, Mr. Pease and Mr. Reynolds. Richard miscalled Mr. Pease by saying that his name was Pease, Mr. Pease found this offending and unacceptable for a black boy to call him by his nickname and not proper name: “‘I heard you call ‘im Pease. And if you say you didn’t, you’re calling me a liar, see?’ He waved the steel bar threateningly”(189). After this event, he had to pay the cost of living by quitting his job. Richard keeping a job was crucial for his family to have a home and food. For Richard to live and not be killed for misnaming a white man, he has to sacrifice

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