Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents
From Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Du Bois on the one hand, to Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and white supremacist pronouncements on the other, Felgar creates a dialogue between the voices of oppressed blacks, including Richard Wright, and those of oppressing whites over the issue of race and racism. Students will be able to analyze a variety of perspectives on this issue from the earliest days of the American republic to the present day. Felgar also includes primary documents on the American dream of success, which has remained elusive for so many blacks. A chapter on the American autobiographical tradition uses excerpts from Ben Franklin's autobiography, as well as from those by Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Du Bois, to place Wright squarely in the tradition of this genre and show that Wright was more a believer in the myth of perpetual upward mobility than he realized. In a chapter called The Dream Deferred, documents show how freed blacks were just as enslaved by new and restrictive laws after the Civil War as they had been under slavery. Each chapter concludes with study questions, ideas for written and oral examination, and suggested readings to aid students in examining the issues raised by Wright's autobiography.
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... for from the time the two uniformed attendants brought in the table with its snowy cloth and began to place upon it the shining silver and cut - glass service , with the centerpiece of red carnations , he began to grasp at the new ...
But after the first burst of enthusiasm began to die away , and the coloured people began reading the speech in cold type , some of them seemed to feel that they had been hypnotized . They seemed to feel that I had been too liberal in ...
Calmer spirits again counseled hanging , but some one began to recite in a high - keyed voice the awful details of the crime , dwelling especially on the death of the little girl . It worked the mob into a frenzy of ferocity .
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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