Black Boy Research Paper

997 Words4 Pages
Discrimination, stereotypes, prejudice, injustices—these are but a few of the words that describe the reality of racism. Racism is degrading, belittling, scathing, and oppressive, and its victims are demeaned, discounted, hurt, and mistreated. Several different things cause racism, but one of these is the complicity of the black man in his own degradation. As the book Black Boy, by Richard Wright, the poems of Langston Hughes, and the works of contemporaries such as President Obama show, one of the things that fuels racism is the black man's own contributions to it, but not without the things that drive him to act in these ways. The black man's complicity in his own degradation exists as one of the many driving forces of racism…show more content…
It is the same with the degradation of blacks as a race. In Black Boy, when the black children poke racist fun at the Jewish, they are promoting racism and therefore contributing to their own degradation as black people, making racist comments and stereotypes more acceptable and commonplace in their society. But perhaps they only do this because this is all that society has ever taught them. (If not directly, then indirectly through the tolerance it has for racism.). Society similarly influences Shorty to beg for coins because it has taught him that that is the only way he can get by and make a living. When Wright expresses his disapproval for Shorty's actions, Shorty simply replies, "I needed a quarter and I got it…. my a** is tough and quarters is scarce" (229). Griggs also explains, "But you've got to eat…. [So] start acting like it…. When you're in front of white people, think before you act, think before you speak" (184). He has learned that the only way he is going to survive is by acting the way white people
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