Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents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 separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them , a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation .
Here the rewards of his industry follow with equal steps the progress of his labour ; his labour is founded on the basis of nature , self - interest ; can it want a stronger allurement ? Wives and children , who before in vain demanded ...
Say what we will , there is something in human nature which we cannot blot out , which makes one man , in the end ... I think that the according of the full exercise of political rights is going to be a matter of natural , slow growth ...
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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