Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents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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I at first rejected the idea , that the simple carrying of a root in my pocket would have any such effect as he had said , and was not disposed to take it ; but Sandy impressed the necessity with much earnestness , telling me it could ...
The night before the eventful day , word was sent to the slave quarters to the effect that something unusual was going to take place at the " big house ” the next morning . There was little , if any , sleep that night .
He begins to feel the effects of a sort of resurrection ; hitherto he had not lived , but simply vegetated ; he now feels himself a man , because he is treated as such ; the laws of his own country had overlooked him in his ...
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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