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Black Boy

Black Boy

Написано Richard Wright

Озвучено Peter Francis James


Black Boy

Написано Richard Wright

Озвучено Peter Francis James

оценки:
4.5/5 (37 оценки)
Длина:
15 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 18, 2020
ISBN:
9780063008618
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

Richard Wright's powerful and eloquent memoir of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. At once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment, Black Boy is a poignant record of struggle and endurance—a seminal literary work that illuminates our own time.

When it exploded onto the literary scene in 1945, Black Boy was both praised and condemned. Orville Prescott of the New York Times wrote that "if enough such books are written, if enough millions of people read them maybe, someday, in the fullness of time, there will be a greater understanding and a more true democracy." Yet from 1975 to 1978, Black Boy was banned in schools throughout the United States for "obscenity" and "instigating hatred between the races."

The once controversial, now classic American autobiography measures the brutality and rawness of the Jim Crow South against the sheer desperate will it took to survive as a black boy. Enduring poverty, hunger, fear, abuse, and hatred while growing up in the woods of Mississippi, Wright lied, stole, and raged at those around him—whites indifferent, pitying, or cruel, and blacks resentful of anyone trying to rise above their circumstances. Desperate for a different way of life, he made his way north, eventually arriving in Chicago, where he forged a new path and began his career as a writer. At the end of Black Boy, Wright sits poised with pencil in hand, determined to "hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo." Seventy-five years later, his words continue to reverberate.

Издатель:
Издано:
Feb 18, 2020
ISBN:
9780063008618
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Об авторе

Richard Wright won international renown for his powerful and visceral depiction of the black experience. He stands today alongside such African-American luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison, and two of his books, Native Son and Black Boy, are required reading in high schools and colleges across the nation. He died in 1960.


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4.4
37 оценки / 22 Обзоры
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  • (5/5)
    Should be required reading hugely informative and moving incredibly tragic relevant still in 2021 .
  • (5/5)
    As Wright wrestled to understand his white neighbors, this book helped me to understand the mind, soul and experience of my black neighbors better. This book has helped me to understand the the black experience better and I’m grateful for it.
  • (3/5)
    Richard Wright is famous for his novel, Native Son, which is a classic of American realism, made it to the Modern Library’s list of Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century, and was the first Book of the Month Club title by an African-American author. His autobiography – at least part of it – is an acclaimed account of life in the Jim Crow South.Only the first part of Richard Wright’s autobiography, Black Boy, was published contemporaneously with his finishing it in 1945. The second part, American Hunger, was not published until 1977.Understandably. The Black Boy section of his autobiography tells the story of Wright's childhood in the Deep South in the early part of the 1900s. Born on a plantation, abandoned by his father, and raised by a passel of relatives, his was as racist, poverty-stricken, and generally grim a childhood as could be imagined.But American Hunger, the second part of his autobiography is all about Wright’s life as a Communist. Not a sympathetic, leftist intellectual of the 1930s, but a full-fledged, card-carrying Party member and true believer. No wonder he could not get this part of his story published in the 1950s. It would have been scandalous. Now, after the horrors of Stalin are known and the Soviet Union has disappeared, his story is historically notable, but borderline ludicrous.What is worse is that Wright does not delve into the ideas that made him a Communist, which might have been interesting. He provides only one glowing summary of his fervent belief that Communism was the only solution for mankind, that the world would be in awe of the success of this system based on self-sacrifice, and that Europe would be unable to stand up to the military might of the Soviet Union. He offered this as an introduction to his description of the “glory” of the Soviet-style show trial of one of his Comrades.The rest focuses on the in-fighting among Party members. Wrights whole point seems to prove that he was the better Communist than the hacks running the Party. He recounts the maneuverings among factions that led to his election as the Party Secretary of his division, detailed conversations with Party sub-officials questioning his loyalty, and his ultimate break with the Party – not over ideology, he insists, but tactics. All this is as tedious as listening to the office receptionist relate the details of her long-standing feud with the HR department.The Black Boy section of Wright’s autobiography is a must-read. The American Hunger section belongs, like the bankrupt ideology that inspired it, in the dustbin of literary history.Also posted on Rose City Reader.
  • (3/5)
    This story is written in two parts, each almost like a book on its own. The first part, Southern Night, I found spellbinding; would have given it a 4. Part Two, The Horror and the Glory, was not nearly so readable, with it's emphasis on Politics. It would have rated a 2. Average 3.
  • (4/5)
    I liked this book more than I expected I would. I would of given it 5 stars, if part 2 was as good as part 1.
  • (4/5)
    Part I: Southern Nights blew me away. Mind blown. Inhaled it. Absolutely vital and incendiary writing. Everyone should read it, etc, etc.

    Part II: The Horror and the Glory, which chronicles his experiences in Chicago with the local communist party, felt more a recounting of office politics. While interesting at times, a lot of it dragged. Still, I learned a lot reading it. It just wasn't the edge-of-seat material found in part I.

    The story on how this book got published is quite interesting too. They cover this in the back of the book. They also include the alternate ending for part I, when that part alone was released as the original version of this novel in 1945.
  • (5/5)
    Read in high school, this memoir of a boy growing up in poverty (1960's?) really moved me.
  • (5/5)
    The book talks about life as a black living in the south in the early 1900's.
  • (4/5)
    BLACK BOY: A RECORD OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH, the autobiogaphy of Richard Wright one of our most successful black writers. For me the book was two books. The first his life in the South until 1927 and the secon when he went North to escape to Chicago. He experienced it as an escape.In his years in the South he is dominated by hunger. Hunger all the time. It is difficult to appreciate the hunger he experiences. Imagine living your life like that. Richard lacked a friend. Lack intimacy,, was fearful and anxious. His family is abusive.His story is heart wrenching and his voice is powerful. It is what black life was for many in the first 25 years of the twentieth century in the South.The voice is special though disturbing. Whites were terrible to him. The father left the MOther when Richard was young and she struggled to support her two sons. As small children she had to leave them alone so she could work. He was a lonely child. He was distrustful of the whites with good reason. He would get menial jobs as a child with a white family who would abuse him, overwork him. Most blacks accepted this status quo but Richard couldn't so every relationship was a struggle. Whites defined the lives of blacks and it wasn't pretty. All he wants to do is escape to the North where he hears blacks have it better. So in 1927 he goes to Chicago where he finds blacks and whites mixing for example on the bus, the train, in the stores. He couldn't believe it. The second half of the book is his love affair with Communism. He becomes a Communist and it becomes his life and that is more boring too me. I read many years ago his novel NATIVE SON which takes place in Chicago and is a compelling story.
  • (4/5)
    Black Boy is an autobiographical novel about the life of Richard Wright, a poor black child growing up in the American South in the early 1900's. Broken into two parts it, in great detail, outlines the struggles of poverty, fear, hatred and hunger, first in the South and then later when he moves to the North. Part two of the book, which also chronicles Richard's involvement with the Communist party, was originally cut from the book as a condition of being included in the Book-of-the-Month-Club. Black Boy is an interesting read and well written however the more reflective tone that it takes in the second part can, at times, become tedious especially when thinking about how Richard, by allowing the second half of the book to be cut, did in fact what he frowns upon his fellow social class members and writers for doing. If at all possible it is worth viewing the coorespondence between the Book-of-the-Month, Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Richard Wright, which is based at Yale University (the Beinecke) as it gives a lot more insight into the reasons behind the situation and the pressure that Richard Wright was under in relation to his decision.
  • (4/5)
    Black Boy is a non-fiction novel about the life of Richard Wright's life. It tells about his life as a child in the South, and his adult life with the Communists in Chicago. There is a lot of action and things going on, but there is a lot of time explaining how he felt during this time, and with him not doing anything. I did like this book. It was written very well. I believed he conveyed his emotions well. The only thing is, this type of book, is not one of my favorites. Despite this, I still enjoyed it, and if you really like autobiographies, or black history books, then this is a must read.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to Black Boy by Richard Wright for this month's bookclub read. Wonderfully narrated, this is Wright's biography of growing up black in the South during the 1920s and 1930s. Wow, what a powerful book! I am definitely glad I read this book and I can see why this is required reading for so many students. What an revealing book about prejudice in the United States.
  • (4/5)
    I'm so glad I finally read this! I had read "Native Son" and am now glad to have read this autobiography of and by Richard Wright. Dramatic and traumatic, but enlightening and interesting.
  • (5/5)
    Heartbreaking. Beautifully rendered and written. Mr. Wright has a brilliant way of writing about humanity and some of its greatest flaws. Everyone should read this book at least once. Everybody.
  • (4/5)
    Don't Forget a TissueBlack Boy was one of those books that was impossible for me to put down. I would stay up until early in the morning just to find out what would happen in the life of Richard Wright. Although he overcomes many obstacles to get to where he was, the painful events that he had to endure were so heartbreaking that it made me want to cry. Growing up without a father for most of his childhood and an abusive mother, he not only struggles to get as much knowledge inside his head, but he is also learning to deal with the racism that becomes a part of his life.This is one of those books where you cannot really connect many of the events that happened to him to everyday life. That is why I found this book to be very hard to put down. By reading something that you cannot connect to in real life, it makes the story more interesting and enjoyable to read. I loved this book because it gave me a glimpse as to what African Americans like Richard Wright went through during the 20th century and how much progress we as a nationhave made towards the equality of black people and white people. I would easily put this book on my top ten favorite books of all time list, and remember, don't forget to bring a tissue.
  • (4/5)
    Title: Only a Black Boy on the OutsideRichard Wright has been thriving for knowledge and for a place in the world ever since he was little. This book teaches you that skin color doesn't matter because with a little bit of determination and curiosity you can be who and what you want to be, and Richard proves that. I thought Black Boy was an easy and motivating read. I recommend reading it for its inspiration.
  • (5/5)
    Stale Bread and Black MolassesIn the novel, Black Boy, Richard Wright begins with a shocking scene sure to grab the attention of many readers: he burns down his own home by throwing curtains into a fireplace. He is very concise with his writing and keeps the topic simple. In the beginning, he describes vividly his boyhood and his youth in Mississippi. He showed his interest in knowledge and reading ever since he was four years old. As time progressed, I noticed that Richard began to challenge authority more and more. He was becoming more sneaky and dangerous around whites, especially when he tricked his boss at the theater and took the money. It felt like the entire plot of the book was to move up north through a series of jobs. Although I have only read Part I of the novel, it is safe to say that these jobs drastically effected his decision to move.One theme mentioned frequently in the novel is that of hunger. We’ve all been hungry before, but Wright describes it as terrible as it can get, up to the point where he is forced to commit a crime to get money. He lives off of a can of beans for dinner each night and the food as his jobs weren’t so great either. After a hard day’s work, Richard is given some stale bread and black molasses by his boss on the farm. Richard kindly and respectfully declines the offer and moves on to the next job. Hunger is a main theme in the novel and one that has played a permanent effect on Richard’s mind and behavior. This book is a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to teenagers as well as adults because of the insight and knowledge it provides once finished with the novel.
  • (5/5)
    Incredibly vivid memoir. A great blend of humour and tragedy. Great descriptions of the sights and sounds of the era and fascinating insights into the effects of racism and self-education.
  • (5/5)
    I read this book years ago but I still remember it because the author events I never found in any autobiography.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    My second reading of Richard Wright’s Black Boy, coming some 40 years after my first, was a much different experience than I expected it to be. I probably should not have been surprised because I am not, of course, the same person I was four decades ago when I first read of Wright’s struggles to survive the Jim Crow South as a young black man with an “attitude problem.” However, more importantly, the text I read in the late sixties did not include Wright’s complete manuscript. The Library of America edition I read this time includes an additional six chapters (some 117 pages) under the subtitle “Part Two: The Horror and the Glory.” In this section of the book, Wright describes his arrival in Chicago and his flirtation with the American Communist Party. This new section of Wright’s autobiography does offer new insight into his life and politics but, frankly, it lessens the overall impact of Black Boy. The book is much more powerful with its original open-ended final words than it is with the detailed revelations pertaining to the silliness and incompetence of Chicago’s Communist party.“Part One: Southern Night,” particularly as it pertains to Wright’s early boyhood, is fascinating. A portion of one paragraph on page 192, for instance, in which Wright addresses the ever-present tension he lived with, is unforgettable:“I did not know when I would be thrown into a situation where I would say the wrong word to the wrong white man and find myself in trouble. And, above all, I wanted to avoid trouble, for I feared that if I clashed with whites I would lose control of my emotions and spill out words that would be my sentence of death. Time was not on my side and I had to make some move.”Wright, an exceptionally bright child despite getting a slow start to any kind of formal education, had two strikes against him from the beginning. Strike one was his geographic location – he grew up in the heart of Mississippi when Jim Crow was still king. Strike two was that Wright was part of such a deeply conservatively religious extended family that he was not allowed to read much other than the Bible. His maternal grandmother believed all fiction to be the devil’s work and severely punished Wright if he dared expose himself to it.What Richard Wright accomplished despite these handicaps is striking. Physical survival was not a given in the American South of those days for young black men as outspoken as Wright. That he did survive, and that he accomplished as much as he did, is inspirational. Black Boy deserves to be considered an American classic even in this complete version, but I believe that it is a better book as originally published.Rated at: 4.0

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)
    Black Boy is one of those books that you know you should like, but nothing within the book will allow you to do so. I read this book as a summer project for my english class in freshman year of high school. Thinking back on this book, I can remember many hours spent lying in the hammock finding the squirrels in the trees far more interesting than the diction of the book. The text was convoluted and very difficult to take in. Not only was the book difficult to read, the subject matter wasn't particularly cheery either. One event in the book I can recall specifically is a scene in which the main character tortures a cat. The worst part of the project was that our teacher didn't even like the book. Overall, reading this book was just a terrible experience that I hope to never have ever again.
  • (1/5)
    I thought this book was awful. I commend Wright for this detailed memoir of his life, and perhaps it was because I was forced to read this, but I just could not stay interested through the book. It took several attempts to read each chapter and fully appreciate the words. I still intend to read Native Son, though I worry I may have the same problem.