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Black Boy

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Truth, Powerful, Revealing

Want to know in depth detail about the life of a typical of an African American boy growing up in the 1920's? Well this is the book for you.

"Black Boy" is an autobiography of author Richard Wright, and his life growing up. Read as he goes in full detail of his h...
Want to know in depth detail about the life of a typical of an African American boy growing up in the 1920's? Well this is the book for you.

"Black Boy" is an autobiography of author Richard Wright, and his life growing up. Read as he goes in full detail of his harsh life at home vs. his everyday life trying to keep up and cope with the society.

Wright reveals the real action that would go on in a typical broken African American home. However, violence was not the only conflict he had to deal with. Because of his family's dedication to Religion, Wright had to assemble that in along with his behaviors-Wright always chose not to.

From stealing to getting a new job every week, Wright makes sure the reader does not want to put the book down. A definitely must read!

posted by Kathy-B on March 24, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Black Boy Book Review

Richard Wright, the author of Black Boy, Born September 4, 1908, on a Rucker's Plantation near Roxie, Mississippi. Richard was a son to Nathan and Ella Wright and an older brother to Alan. Both Richard and Alan raised by their mother, who struggled to put food on the ta...
Richard Wright, the author of Black Boy, Born September 4, 1908, on a Rucker's Plantation near Roxie, Mississippi. Richard was a son to Nathan and Ella Wright and an older brother to Alan. Both Richard and Alan raised by their mother, who struggled to put food on the table and pay bill's after the disappearance of their father. After Richard's mother became very ill they were forced to move, in order to receive help from other family members. Shortly later Richard had to find work to help support his family. After finding work Richard runs into a problem of racism and tries to separate himself from most other blacks by educating himself though reading lots of books and magazines.
Richard, my favorite character, and I have a few things in common. We both didn't really have much to eat growing up and were forced to find work at a young age to help support the family, meanwhile trying to educate and better ourselves though school and reading books. There are a lot of things Richard does as a child that a lot of people could relate to. For example, Richard almost burned down his mother and father's house by being curios about what would happen if he lit the bottom of some curtains on fire. His almost getting into fights also became a frequent occurrence.
There are a lot of really great stories in the book, but the one part that stands out for me is when Richard moves to Chicago trying to escape racism. Shortly after arriving in Chicago Richard needs to find a place to stay. While looking for a place he meets this really nice lady that offers him a room and some hot meals. After talking with this lady for a while, she realizes that Richard is a good person and introduces him to her daughter. They begin to talk about how the daughter wants to get married and that Richard would be a good man for her. Thinking it was a joke Richard continued with living in their home. One morning the daughter came to Richard and tried to seduce him. When he denied the girl got mad and stormed out the room. At this point Richard realized that the family was really crazy and decided that it would be best to move again. Overall the novel Black Boy is a great story. To me the story gets really boring towards the end of part 2 because of all the political and communist talk. If I were to change one thing in the novel, I would talk about his brother a little more and what life experience's he had though this time.
Black Boy is a great novel that touches the hearts of many people. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to read the struggle of blacks and the work they had to put up with in order to survive during this time.

posted by HelixAdult on March 6, 2009

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Truth, Powerful, Revealing

    Want to know in depth detail about the life of a typical of an African American boy growing up in the 1920's? Well this is the book for you.

    "Black Boy" is an autobiography of author Richard Wright, and his life growing up. Read as he goes in full detail of his harsh life at home vs. his everyday life trying to keep up and cope with the society.

    Wright reveals the real action that would go on in a typical broken African American home. However, violence was not the only conflict he had to deal with. Because of his family's dedication to Religion, Wright had to assemble that in along with his behaviors-Wright always chose not to.

    From stealing to getting a new job every week, Wright makes sure the reader does not want to put the book down. A definitely must read!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 9, 2012

    A boy can only go through so much. Or can he? Black B

    A boy can only go through so much. Or can he? Black Boy is a compelling autobiography describing all the struggles and hardships of Richard Wright’s life. Richard deals with many issues (which are the main themes of the book) including racism, religious beliefs, choosing between right and wrong, and trust issues.

    From an early age Richard has struggled. At a young age, Wright set his house on fire, his father left his family helpless, and he and his brother were forced into an orphanage because their mother could no longer provide for them. This sets up his life of fighting to find enough money to support himself and all of his family- in a world full of racism. Richard has a passion for writing and reading-will it break him or make him? Richard must learn to deal with this chaos he calls life, but he trusts no one and will take help from nobody.
    I really enjoyed the autobiography Black Boy, but I thought it got slower towards the end. I would highly recommend this book to high schoolers, because it provides detailed insight into Richard’s life, and gives a clear understanding of his hardships including racism. It includes clear and crisp stories of his life, with very vivid imagery. The book will certainly keep them on their toes and keep them reading- what will happen to Richard next?

    I loved the fact that so many major events were packed into the book, but that minor events were also included to support overall ideas and provide further explanation into the significance of each event. Imagery was present in every page, and it felt as if you were living through the book with Richard himself, partaking in his journey. I found myself clinging to each word, undecidedly feeling that I did like Richard, then a couple pages later thinking about how I despised him. In the end, I liked him, and that maybe I just didn’t like some of his choices. Either way, there is certainly enough to read and understand about his life.

    However, I felt the book didn’t provide enough detail about some of the other characters (yes, I know, it was an autobiography, but still) such as Richard’s father, mother, and brother and at times felt confused when other family members were mentioned (aunts and uncles). Also, mentions of certain jobs felt unimportant and unnecessary, as they were briefly mentioned, and soon replaced by another job. Some parts got very religious as well, just as a forewarning.

    My overall rating of this book would be probably an 8.5/10. Like previously mentioned, it was a very good book that kept me reading and turning the page, but had a few issues that were quite bothersome (that is my own opinion). If you like this book, I would suggest checking out a few of Richard Wright’s other book such as Eight Men: Short Stories or Uncle Tom’s Children. Certainly consider reading Black Boy, I doubt you’ll regret it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    March 25, 2010 This Black Boy is Not the Typical Stereotype

    When I got the list of books that I had to read for my upcoming school year Black Boy By Richard Wright was not one of the books that stuck out to me. When it came time in the year to start reading it I fell in love with this story of an astounding mans life. From the very first page you feel sympathetic for Richard and his younger brother, Alan. Immediately you see how their parents raise them with a strong fist. As Richard grows up he is forced to deal with harsh parents, grandparents, teachers and white bosses but that never discourages him. His will power to keep moving forward and learning is truly inspirational. Richard Wright writes in a non-exaggerated way that clearly shows the harassment and persecution this man had to endure his whole life. His describes his situation with the perfect amount of detail so you are aware of his surroundings but it is not overbearing. It forces you to go through an emotional rollercoaster that I would ride any day!
    For all you people who thinks this book would not apply to you, you could not be more wrong. I am a privileged white girl with caring parents and teachers and friend always there to help but I was still able to find more similarities to Richard than most would expect. During his childhood he struggled with fitting in when he changed from school to school, that is an emotion that anyone would feel. If they were going to a new school, job, or even a party. At his job he encounters abnormal coworkers, which any person can relate to. I guarantee that any person could pick up this book and find a least one commonality with their life. That is a huge reason it is such a great read! It also gives great topic discussions so it's perfect for a class, book club or simply bonding with a friend. Once you pick up this book you will not be able to put it down

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fascinating Read!

    Black Boy is an autobiography about African-American writer Richard Wright's life in the early 1900's.

    What I personally liked about this book was Wright's writing style. It's clear, but descriptive. I could understand the message in the text the first time I read it. Wright's words transport you into another world, while perceptively displaying his emotions.

    I also loved the character Richard Wright himself. He is probably the most human character I have ever read before. Even when he is off killing small animals, you find your self sympathizing with him. His character is continually fascinating and honest.Black Boy is a very good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    In class you have learned about the slavery and racial remarks

    In class you have learned about the slavery and racial remarks during the Civil War, but have you ever learned about what
    happened afterwards.  In the extraordinary novel Black Boy by Richard Wright, the author attempts and succeeds in recalling the e
    vents in which his African American family had endured after the Civil War had ended.  In this book Richard is a young boy but ha trouble in school and in church.  
    The majority of the book consists of the life that Richard and his family had to live during the early 1900’s.
     Most of their life consisting of racial slurs and the mistreating of the so called “Blacks.”  I enjoyed this great book because as a young
    African American boy, I enjoy reading about how my ancestors lived, and it reminds me that I am so blessed to live in a time where
     blacks are treated the same as the Whites.  Another reason why I loved this book is because the author does an amazing job of retelling his families obstacles and barriers d
    during their time.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is strongly intrigued by the life of African Americans after the Civil War.
     Preferably anyone who is a teenager or older should be able to handle the contents of this book.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    The Wright Color

    Richard Wright's Black Boy is a book that anybody interested in race and history should read. His story is one of a bitter fight for survival against all odds. The book goes through his life starting from a very young age and follows his life as he matures and becomes a man. This book isn't just like a camera documenting his actions. Wright goes deep into his younger self's mind and tries to explain his feelings and why he acted the way he did. Throughout his life, he encounters bigotry and racism which he also attempts to explain to help the reader understand what he was going through. Wright's writing style is very simply and easy to understand. The book is not a complex puzzle you need to solve while reading. Anybody can pick up this book and understand what he is going through without having to think hard and try to see what isn't there. There may be some unfamiliar words but nothing is too far fetched that you lose what is happening in the story. This book is something I feel that everybody should eventually read. His original stories and thoughts towards society during his childhood are one of a kind and reading how somebody could live through such a bitter life can make us rethink how we live our own lives.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    Shocking, True, and Easy to Read!

    This book is all about Richard Wrights experiences being black growing up in the south. I am a kid growing up in the north next to a big city and it is very cool to look at the differences between my life growing up and his growing in the south less then a hundred years after the civil war. As the actual story goes it is good. Throughout the story new problems keep developing and the story keeps a pretty quick pace. Its not one of those books where it'll bore you to death because something new keeps on happening to Richard. There are a lot of characters that I can relate to like my grandpa who I was scared of, or his mother who can be the only person that believes in you at times. There are also characters that I couldn't relate to like his religious crazy grandma or his aunt Addie who threatens to beat him in his sleep. In all I thought this was a well written book that was rather easy to read and each page held new thing's from new jobs to moving to new cities. A great book to pick up and read during your spring break!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    A Precious Journey

    Flipping through the first few pages of Black Boy, I was surrounded by the Wright's vivid diction of his early stages of life in Jackson. His words painted moving scenes from one chapter to the next. Violence, shame, identity, and conformity were some of the many themes that popped out from the story.

    What astonished me the most was how he and his family managed to endure poverty and hatred of racial discrimination. Hunger was ever present in their daily lives.

    I realized how much effort he took to be the person he wanted to be, constantly hungry for knowledge. He took advantage of every opportunity available to teach himself to become a writer.

    This story was readable, yet somewhat confusing because I found myself trying to focus on various aspects that Wright conveyed about race. But it will definitely leave a deep footprint for years to come.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Black Boy Is A Drunk 6 Year Old

    Weird title for a review,huh? Well this title is referring to "Black Boy" by Richard Wright. In the novel, Richard must face his problems as he grows up to become a man. He faces violence, racism, and family problems. His father leaves him at a young age and he then has to take care of his mother as she becomes ill. In one of the scenes, Richard gets pressured into drinking at a bar and even though he is only 6, Richard gets drunk. This novel shows the sadness and anger of Richard's life. Drinking is harmful, I know that. But this novel shows the unique things that can happen to a person. If you want to read something unique and something outside of your comfort zone, read "Black Boy". You'll love it, I guarantee it.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    --Who's up for some dead kittens??

    This great image comes straight from Richard Wright's autobiography, "Black Boy". Richard might get influenced to strangle an innocent kitten to death, simply because he can't seem to find himself. He is influenced by the people around him, whether it is his strict dad, religious grandma, or his dying mother. Richard is constantly trying to please everyone, but realizes there is no way he can do this if he wants to please himself as well. While trying to figure himself out, he is also trying to figure out the big issue surrounding race in the south. He doesn't seem to understand the idea why whites don't approve blacks; he just simply accepts that as the norm. As any confused teen trying to discover themselves, Richard goes through his rebellious stage as well. Although he may seem tough on the outside, really he is just dealing with so many personal issues within his family that he has to be tough to feel in control of something.

    --This book is as interesting as kayaking with the Pope in a cat filled pond in Antarctica...who wouldn't want to read about that?!

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Captivating and Original

    Black Boy is one of the most interesting books I have read about an African American's life. I found it interesting because the author did not try to hide anything. He was blatantly honest and didn't leave any details out. Which made the whole story a lot more interesting. Also, the writing style that Richard Wright uses is very simply and easy to understand. As a result, it is a really quick read and will teach you a lot of about what it was really like to be black during the time Richard Wright was living. This book is original because it includes personal stories about what made him the person he was. It has a really great plotline and it is easy to understand because the story goes in chronological order.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    "I was a drunkard in my sixth year, before I had begun school."

    The book is definitely interesting; it shows in great details the hardships of the author and also of any young African-American child growing in the 1920's. There are a lot of moments that would make any reader asking himself the question "Why?" which would be great for group discussions. The book has good description of the life in the South and how blacks were treated in the past. Also it provides the author's personal experiences while he was growing up. The interesting part about this book is that it is not a typical book about racism because the author really goes out of his way and makes the reader laugh when least expected. I would recommend this to everybody who wants to read a nice- written book that would make him think about topics like racism and poverty or just something fun and interesting to read.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Respectful and original

    Respectful and Original
    Black Boy written by Richard Wright was a great page turner. When reading each chapter I found myself unable to stop reading. The plot of the story is about a young boy named Richard who had to deal with the struggles of living in poverty and to find a way to live within the streets.
    Richard Wrights writing style is very readable and not hard to understand at all. It is perfect for High School reading level or just for a day in the park to bring this novel along; well you sit on the bench a read with the breeze.
    Well reading this novel I felt as if I could relate to the book because the character Granny reminds me of my Grandmother, only because my grandmother is very religious and goes to church on a regular base. However, my grandmother is far not as strict as granny in the novel.
    In general, this was a great pleasure to read just because it is so readable and is easy to understand. I also think that the novel became more interesting to me because this book is an autobiography and all the events really happened to Wright in his life. Overall, this was a great and exciting book to read. Everyone should read this novel whenever he or she gets the chance. It is definitely worth it!

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Black Boy--A Page Turner!

    Horrible is an adjective that you would define Miley Cyrus' singing, but not the interesting page turning novel, "Black Boy" by Richard Wright. This book is an autobiography which was set in the 1920's when racism was cruel and life was anything but easy. Richard experiences many hardships throughout his lifetime. His father, Nathan, leaves his family for another woman and Richard's ill mother has to take care of her son's with the help of her family who are faithful Christians. During his youth years education was not important to him, but later on he teaches himself and is a fast and eager learner. He enjoyed reading and writing, but his family wasn't supportive of his passion. Richard overcomes many hardships and becomes independent. Wrights writing is very detailed and powerful, but an easy read. This is an interesting, educating, and very enjoyable novel unlike Miley Cyrus' singing!

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Powerful and Captivating Tale

    Hard to believe that Black Boy is an autobiography, as Richard Wright allures the reader deep into the depths of his childhood, growing up in the midst of racism. It is the story of himself as a young black American, of his experiences of poverty, discrimination, and overcoming the hardships of being black in a white man's world. It is breathtakingly original, as Black Boy is not like any other story of black vs. white, which typically depicts the whites as evil people, but instead, a boy becoming conscious of the reality of the social standards around him. Written as a memoir, literally, his life is an open book, pulling readers into his early days. His work is brilliant, his language descriptive and powerful, properly conveying his triumphs of overcoming obstacles. I recommend this book, because Richard Wright leaves you with a feeling of empowerment and pride just as he felt with every word he wrote.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Enough obstacles to fill a lifetime, literally.

    Black Boy by Richard Wright is a heavy book about an African American boy who goes through many hardships while growing up. First, his father leaves his family; Richard later finds out he starts a new family, with a new wife. For a little part of the story Richard is in and out of orphanages which he failed trying to run away from. Then, his mother falls ill which turns out to be a stroke. Soon his mother becomes too ill to watch over Richard and his brother. He chooses to move in with his Uncle Clark and Aunt Jody. While there he gets a long list of chores and soon learns that his bed was once before, the bed of a dead boy. Because Richard is frightened, he asks to sleep on the sofa. Uncle Clark and Aunt Jody won't let Richard sleep on the sofa. Amidst all of this at home, Richard is literally fighting off boys at school to gain acceptance. Richard soon starts to dislike his uncle and aunt. They give him long lists of chores and they won't let him sleep on the sofa. So, Richard tells his aunt and uncle that he would like to go back to his moms. He eventually gets to go back to his moms. This book is a moving story, although very deep, Richard overcomes many hardships. It's a true story, it goes to show how people can overcome the hardest of obstacles.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    A different view of history

    The novel Black Boy was a surprise. I was expecting a typical book about slavery but when I got into it, I realized it gave a perspective of the 1920s culture that I had not seen before. The trials that Richard Wright goes through are still relevant today, and can give a view to those who have not experienced true hunger, a father who is not there, or a family that does not accept you.
    My favorite parts of the book center around his family's religion. The way that he explains the struggle to find his own way and make his family understand him is something we can relate to.
    The reading level is very moderate. It is an easy read for someone in high school. I would not recommend it for someone who is younger because of the content. While times have changed since the book was written, the themes are still relevant today.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    Black Boy by Richard Wright

    Black Boy is a powerful autobiography about the life of African American author Richard Wright. Set in the Jim Crow South, he addresses the events and trials in his life involving his family, culture and writing career. To provide further insight into his subconscious, Wright often inserts brief passages, describing various observations in his life as well as his imagination, by using vivid and powerful vocabulary. From the beginning, he describes the various emotions that overtook him in his childhood. Overall, this is a great book that shows the triumph of a man over various obstacles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    Black Boy, a great American classic

    Black Boy is a classic American autobiography about the trials and experiences of the author Richard Wright. He had to cope with the constant physical and psychological forms of hunger. Richard went from living with his mother and father to a myriad of different households and lifestyles. With each new challenge he found himself struggling more for a grasp of humanity. Richard became very active in seeking a lifestyle in the North. He had heard many things about negro life being much better there. He went through many jobs in which he learned the hardships his people had to face to get money. Once Richard had made it to the North he noticed things were very different, but he was still not treated as an equal. He was feared and loathed by many people for his intelligence and thought process. I can relate to Richard from my experiences as a child. As a child, I was always moving from house to house never staying in one place to establish a base of people I new thoroughly. Richard went through things I could never imagine, and I believe I never will, thankfully. He endured poverty and living through the time of segregation. His determination for his goals should be a lesson to us all if you try hard enough you can succeed. The main thing that I liked about this book is the constant theme of overpowering hunger. Richard, throughout the book, is always faced with hunger. He can never fill his hunger because of the racial injustices that are put upon him since he was born black. Wright left the South behind and headed North to what he felt would be a better life. It was somewhat. He still found that many people did not accept him, and it was customary for prejudice to follow him through his life by then. This book is a very moving tale. It shows the upbringing of a young boy born into a world which he does not understand. We see how the racism molds him and makes him think differently. We see him struggle from job to job trying to fulfill his and his family¿s hunger. We watch him develop and find the wonders of reading, and how he believes that books can shape a change in people¿s minds, and he strives to do so himself. We see how he moves to the North and he finds flaws in Communism. All in all, the book is very good at making me feel the emotions that Richard felt. I recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a good tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2006

    A young black boy

    When I say this book really is worth reading and I say this because I usually don't take the time to read unless its require for school, but if its the same for you I would higly recommended this one

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