Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents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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Wright's mother seems to have done the best she could for her firstborn son , but from his point of view , it was not enough . Largely because of her poor health , Mrs. Wright was not able to give Richard the emotional support he wanted ...
In this cabin I lived with my mother and a brother and sister till after the Civil War , when we were all declared ... on my mother's side , suffered in the middle passage of the slave ship while being conveyed from Africa to America .
There was no cooking - stove on our plantation , and all the cooking for the whites and slaves my mother had to do over an open fireplace , mostly in pots and “ skillets . " While the poorly built cabin caused us to suffer with cold in ...
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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