Black Boy

By · Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Date read: December 31, 2009
Book Title: Black Boy
Book Author: Richard Wright
Book Publisher: Harper Collins/1944
Nonfiction/ 419 pages
Black Boy was the 21st book I finished reading in 2009

Why I read Black Boy:

My friend, Steve Urie, recommended that I read accomplished nonfiction writers.  Although Steve said that he was not a fan of Richard Wright, he told me that his wife, Peggy, an English professor, admired Wright’s work and they both recommended that I read Black Boy.  I’m glad they gave me a copy of the book, because I admire the skill Wright used to tell his story.

What I learned from reading Black Boy:

Black Boy is an autobiography that describes Richard Wright’s life from his earliest memories as a child of the Jim Crow south. He shows the readers how encounters with poverty, racism, segregation, and low expectations shaped the man he would later become.  Although Richard Wright’s formal education was minimal by today’s standards, he educated himself by reading, and trained himself to become one of America’s leading black writers, memorializing the tragic consequences of oppression through his art.

By reading Black Boy, I learned more about what it was like for a black people living the Deep South during the early 1900s, and I was inspired by Wright’s tenacity. He understood the system and he figured out how to navigate his way around the obstacles in order to reach his own ambitions.  I admire the way he responded to his struggle, and I learned from the skillful way he shared his story.

How reading Black Boy will contribute to my success upon release:

When my imprisonment ends, I will build a career around what I learned about conquering adversity.  To communicate this message effectively, I continuously strive to broaden the depth and breadth of my knowledge on the subject.  In reading, Black Boy, I recognized similarities between Richard Wright’s struggle to become one with society and the challenges that I have faced as a prisoner for the past 22 years.  By becoming familiar with Richard Wright’s story, I have more experiences to draw from, and that investment of time will yield results in making me a more effective communicator.  I expect to use what I learned by reading Black Boy in conveying messages to others on how best to triumph in spite of adversity, struggle, or oppression.

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