Understanding Richard Wright's Black Boy: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents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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a great result of the war , if the Northern armies conquered . Every success of the Federal ... Often the slaves got knowledge of the results of great battles before the white people received it . This news was usually gotten from the ...
The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest folly , and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant ...
... more impartial view of the merits and demerits of the economic system which crumbled as a result of the Civil War . ... and have reached results , the tendency of which seems to me eirenic rather than controversial , is a noteworthy ...
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The Autobiographical Tradition
The American Dream of Success
The Dream Deferred
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