Social Injustice In Richard Wright's Black Boy

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In the 1900s, nine-tenths of African Americans lived in the South, where repressive Jim Crow laws had multiplied in the 1880s and 1890s. African American men and women challenged injustice. Ninety percent of southern blacks farmed or worked in a personal service. Around the 1909s, more than seventeen hundred African Americans were lynched in the South. About a quarter of lynching victims were accused of assault, on a white woman, which was rarely proved. Denied voting rights, blacks faced exclusion, intimidation, and violence, such as lynching, and were forced to live like animals with a much more painful life than the whites. In Black Boy, Richard is returning from his first meeting with the John Reed Club as he expresses, “My life as a Negro in America had led me to feel, though my helplessness had made me try to hide it from myself, that the problem with human unity was more important than bread, more important than physical living itself… there could be no living worthy of being called human.” (Wright 318) From my understanding, Richard feels that, judging from his personal harsh life experience, the main problem of social existence is a lack of human unity and not the need for food, such as bread, for survival. Throughout his childhood he struggled getting through life and I felt like he was…show more content…
McLaurin’s case seems a little different. He had been taught that one should never mistreat, insult, or purposely be rude to an African American; one was never to behave badly towards blacks, partially because of moral imperatives. (McLaurin 30) He explains, “One didn’t say “nigger,” not because the use of that word caused blacks pain but because to do so indicated “poor breeding.”” (McLaurin

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