Black Boy Essay

Wright is a curious child living in a household of strict, religious women and violent, irresponsible men.

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It is split into two sections, "Southern Night" (concerning his childhood in the south) and "The Horror and the Glory" (concerning his early adult years in Chicago).

The book begins with a mischievous four-year-old Wright setting fire to his grandmother's house.

They invite him to the John Reed Club, an organization that promotes the arts and social change.

He becomes involved with a magazine called Left Front and slowly immerses himself in the writers and artists in the Communist Party.

Throughout his mischief and hardship, Wright gets involved in fighting and drinking before the age of six.

When Wright turns eleven, he begins taking jobs and is quickly introduced to the racism that constitutes much of his future.

At this time, his family is still suffering in poverty, his mother is disabled by a stroke, and his relatives constantly interrogate him about his atheism and "pointless" reading.

He finds a job at the post office, where he meets white men who share his cynical view of the world and religion.

The youth finds the North less racist than the South and begins understanding American race relations more deeply.

He holds many jobs, most of them consisting of menial tasks: he washes floors during the day and reads Proust and medical journals at night.


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