Black Boy is a classic of American autobiography, a subtly crafted narrative of Richard Wright’s journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. An enduring story of one young man’s coming of age during a particular time and place, Black Boy remains a seminal text in our history about what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America.
When Black Boy was first published in 1945, it soared to the top of the bestseller lists, became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and Ralph Ellison discerned it belonged to the tradition of the blues, an elegant gesture of testifying, “both to the agony of life and the possibility of conquering it through sheer toughness of spirit.” Sixty years later and now a classic, Black Boy is an eloquent and deeply moving document of a young boy’s struggle for survival.
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