"Black Boy", Richard's Values

Essay by ninjamonkymanHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2006

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A value can be defined as something that a person holds as precious or of great importance and guides that person's decisions. The autobiography "Black Boy" describes the young life and difficulties of Richard Wright, a famous black writer. Having been born into a poor family on a Mississippi plantation, Richard faced many difficulties such as avoiding hunger. Aside from that, the greatest challenge of Richard's life was the era in which he lived (early 1900's during the segregation of white and black communities). Despite the persecution of the South, he remained strong with his values in mind and worked hard to live up to those standards. Throughout Black Boy, Richard reveals many values, but the ones I can relate with most are family, success, independence, and respect.

Family is a very important aspect of Richard's life as detailed in his autobiography. However, in Richard's case his mother played a much larger role than that of his entire family.

Although she beat him whenever he managed to do something 'foolish' (which was quite often), he loved his mother. When his mother becomes crippled, he shares her pain and eventually gets enough money through various jobs to get her out of the South. Another example would be his religious stature amongst his family; although Richard didn't personally believe in religion, his family, especially his grandmother and Aunt Addie, held a strict religious regiment in the house. In one chapter, Richard is confronted with the challenge of his beliefs by getting baptized. "It was no longer a question of my believing in God;... it was a simple, urgent matter of public pride... If I refused, it meant that I did not love my mother..." Richard puts religion behind him and gets baptized for his mother's love and to...