Black Boy 2014

Right now I’m thinking about what John Stewart said last summer about Ferguson: “You’re tired of hearing about it?… Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”

Vic Sizemore

Black Boy, 2013 (and now 2014)

 

One of my boys is reading Richard Wright’s Black Boy for his English class this coming semester.

One of my sons has already read the book, and in a couple of years my daughter will read it. They will see that it was published in 1945, closing in on seventy years ago. They will see how hard it was to be a black boy in the United States back in 1945.

I was never assigned Black Boy in school. As a matter of fact I cannot remember being assigned a single black writer until I took an African American Literature elective in college. I was raised in a place that was not only lily-white, but white with a red neck. Black people did not willingly venture up the Elk River.

In an autobiographical sketch, Wright speaks of the “dread of being caught…

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