Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents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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The coloured people and the coloured newspapers at first seemed to be greatly pleased with the character of my Atlanta address , as well as with its reception . But after the first burst of enthusiasm began to die away , and the ...
One reproaches them with immorality , forgetting that marriage and the family only date among coloured folk from the emancipation . In the time of slavery there were neither husbands , wives , parents , nor children .
It would be fastidious to compare in detail the number of white criminals with that of coloured people . Let us note , however , that the increase of coloured inhabitants in a locality does not increase the rate of criminality .
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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