Richard Wright wrote the book Black Boy (American Hunger) A Record of
Childhood and Youth, which was banned from his homestate of Mississippi for a few years
after its release. It is an autobiographical book telling about Richard’s young childhood to
young adulthood years. Richard was a boy who wanted to be a writer all of his life. He
moved very frequently, and his mother had to take care of him without the support of his
father. She was often sick, suffering from many paralytic strokes. Shorty was a fictional
character used by Wright to show how the worst of the blacks acted. He was the elevator
man at the building in which Richard worked. He would let people do whatever they
wanted to do to him as long as he could get a quarter out of it. Grandpa was a former
slave who fought in the civil war. He sent in for his pension for fighting, but he never was
able to get it. This was due to his inability to be able to read and write well. Richard
Wright proves his theme of “emancipation through education” from the actions of himself,
Shorty, and Grandpa.
Richard Wright is a prime example of “emancipation through education”. Richard
was able to escape the South by becoming very successful in school.
Shorty is an example of a person who was not emancipated. If he would have listened to them, he would have stayed in the South,and would have never have made it through high school. Shortyis good example to show us how low some will go to get something that they want. Grandpa didn"tmt get his pension because he wasn"tmt educated. This couldhave helped him get his pension earlier, so that when he died, he could have had moremoney to leave to the rest of his family. Even though he would be too old to still be verygood at a good job, he could have done this learning for his own purposes. Richard was an example of a very smart person who never gave up. Hedeserved to get his pension, but because he couldn"tmt read well, he would have never hadknown if he got it. Grandpa was aslave, so he wasn"tmt able to get much of an education. IfGrandpa would have learned how to read and write, he could have escaped the South. He is an example ofhow one person can still become very successful despite handicaps such as being poor, notknowing many others who are smart, and being surrounded by unsuccessful people. For example,all his life people were telling him that he would never become a writer, but he still refusedto be taken-down. If he would havedropped-out of high school, he wouldn"tmt have been so successful. Grandpa should havelearned how to read and write well.