Reading Richard Wright

Here’s some initial information to guide your reading of Black Boy:

  • A general reference guide to Wright can be found here.
  • You’ll want to (re)familiarize yourself with Jim Crow laws  and what that meant. And know that they were in effect from 1864 (the end of the Civil War) until 1965 (the Civil Rights movement). Here‘s a rich resource page from PBS. Here‘s a great introduction courtesy of the Jim Crow Museum hosted by Ferris State University. Here‘s a list of the actual laws verbatim.
  • The online journal Slate recently published Tuskegee Institution’s “Lynching Map” that tracks lynchings across the nation between 1900-1931: “Georgia led the lynching tally, with Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas rounding out the top seven worst offenders.”
  • You’ll also want to know about the 1954 landmark court case “Brown vs. Board of Education” which declared “separate but equal” unconstitutional for public schools.
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