am 16. Juni 2002
Ich habe dieses Buch in der Schule als Englischlektüre gelesen. Das Buch ist in einfachem, verständlichen Englisch geschrieben. Hat aber trotzdem eine gute und hintergrundreiche Handlung. Leider gibt es keinen all zu großen Spannungssaufbau. Mit gutem Gewissen weiter zu empfehlen.
am 12. Mai 2000
I recently read Black Boy by Richard Wright and I must say it is an amazing book. The book is about Richard growing up in the South in the early 1900's. It may sound a little boring but believe me it's not. Richard had a hard life growing up and that's what makes the book so interesting. Burning up houses, killing cats, and becoming a drunk were just some of the things he did before reaching the age of eight. The thing I like most about him is how he grew up very poor, moved from place to place, including an orphanage, never completed two consecutive school years, and still managed to become a well-educated young man and a world-famous writer. Although the book was very interesting there were some parts at the end that I felt were a little boring, but maybe that's just me. Either way, I think Richard Wright was a very talented writer, and if you get the chance, you should read his autobiography, Black Boy. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of thirteen that is interested in learning about history or just likes to read about some hardships other people had to face growing up.
am 15. Januar 2001
In the beginning it was like a shock for me, to read about things which Richard has done and many hard situations, which he had to live with. One of these situations was, when he killed a cat because he was very angry with his father. I know, that he was a little child and couldn't realize what had done. But things like this make me think and ask about people like Richard who had lived such a hard life. And I find it very good, that this book make makes people think. Perhaps they will react in another way and a little part of the world will become a bit better.
Richards Wrights Autobiographie seiner Kindheit und Jugend im US-amerikanischen Süden zur Zeit der Rassentrennung zwischen den zwei Weltkriegen ist eigentlich ein Standardwerk über dem Alltag einer schwarzen Familie zu dieser Zeit. Ohne den Hang zu Kitsch und Pathos wie in "Onkel Toms Hütte" erzählt Wright in einer einfachen, auch in Englisch leicht lesbaren und doch sehr poetischen Sprache von seinen Erinnerungen an das Aufwachsen in einer rein schwarzen Gemeinde, seiner ersten Erkenntnis, dass es auch weiße Menschen gibt und dass diese aus irgendeinem für das Kind zunächst überhaupt nicht nachvollziehbaren Grund den schwarzen Menschen grundsätzlich zu dieser Zeit übergeordnet sind, seinem aus der Furcht vor dem Ku-Klux-Klan aufkeimenden Hass gegen Weiße während der Pubertät und schließlich seiner Erkenntnis als junger Erwachsener, dass nur zwei Dinge ihn aus diesen Lebensumständen befreien können: eine gute Ausbildung und ein Umzug in den Norden der USA. Wright erzählt in Episoden und man merkt, wie nah die Erinnerung bei ihm war, als er die Geschichten niederschrieb. Obwohl manches Geschehene düster ist, wobei Wrights dann oft stoischer Stil das Unfassbare fast banal klingen lässt - so war es damals eben, dem muss man nichts hinzufügen, hier muss nichts ausgeschmückt oder noch mehr dramatisiert werden - wenn er trocken und sachlich von Misshandlungen Schwarzer und Lynchmord, dem auch sein Onkel zu Opfer fällt, berichtet.
Andere Stellen lassen dann aber auch Raum für humorvolle Schilderungen und zwischenmenschliche Einblicke in die eigene Familie und nachbarschaftliche Umgebung. So ist zwei der freundlichsten Menschen, denen Richard begegnet, eine weiße Frau, die ihn als Hausgehilfe beschäftigt, damit er zur Schule gehen kann, und ein weißer Fabrikarbeiter, der ihm seine Büchereikarte gibt (Schwarze durften keine Bücher ausleihen), weil der Mann selbst auf der Arbeit schikaniert wird (er ist Jude) und Richards Situation nachempfinden kann.
Wrights Werk wäre eigentlich geschaffen, ein Standardunterrichtswerk zu sein, doch da der Autor später der kommunististischen Partei beitrat, wurden seine Werke in den USA wenig gewürdigt und beworben, so dass sie auch größtenteils nicht weiterverkauft und in Europa verlegt und übersetzt wurden.
Sehr empfehlenswert für Lehrer der gymnasialen Oberstufe, die gute Texte für die Themen "The Afro-American Experience" und "The American South" suchen.
am 23. Mai 2000
I emphatically recommend Richard Wright's Black Boy to all mature audiences. It would be pretense for any reader of this incredible autobiography to speak of anything less than being riveted by such an extraordinary account of southern America in the early twentieth century. In Richard Wright's Black Boy, readers can learn more about the effects that America's enthralling treatment of African Americans had on the country in Jim Crow south. Richard Wright's life experiences in Black Boy will give readers a predilection towards other American historical autobiographies, as well.
am 3. Februar 2000
Nothing in the following should be taken to in any way minimize the horrors and degradation of racism. However, while Richard Wright's classic account of his upbringing in the Jim Crow South remains a powerful indictment of a system of repression and dehumanization which indelibly stain's this great nation's history, the book is somehow simply not a compelling text. Wright never really engages the reader emotionally nor wins our empathy. It's, thus, seems more important as a historical document than central to the Western Canon.
The primary reason for this is that Richard Wright, as he portrays himself in the book, is just an *expletive deleted*. And while it is certainly legitimate to argue that he is merely a creation of the malignant system of segregation and racial hatred, the history of the South and of other racist regimes (i.e., Nazi Germany) suggest that he is not an inevitable product of the system. The Richard Wright that he presents is so brutal, bitter and hate filled, that he is impossible to care about. He stands in stark contrast to the many still generous, hope filled, decent people who emerged from this same oppression (or others like it); people whose positive vision and dream of freedom brought down Jim Crow within a generation.
Moreover, he compares unfavorably to the survivors of the Death Camps and the Gulag and the other heinous criminal enterprises of the century, who emerged from experiences that were at least as brutal and seemingly soul deadening to produce a body of literature that is instead life affirming. This is not to suggest that Wright's experiences and reactions and personal development are unworthy of notice and study, rather, I would suggest that we have more to gain by studying Elie Weisel and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vassily Grossman and Anchee Min and their like, who have turned similar experiences into a testament of hope and human dignity rather than one of despair.
I know you aren't supposed to say these kinds of things in our politically correct age, but I disliked the Richard Wright of this memoir too strongly to genuinely care about his life. And this feeling of disgust towards his character, allowed at least this reader an unfortunate psychic distance from the revulsion one should feel towards the circumstances and environment of his youth. More troubling though than the fact that I had this reaction, is that many comments by young readers on the Web and at Amazon indicate that they shared this reaction. If the texts that they are supposed to be learning about Segregation from are instead putting them off, the way that this one does, that is a serious matter.
am 21. April 1999
Black Boy by Richard Wright is a book that really brings out the conflicts between blacks and whites in the South. Wright shows these conflicts through the eyes of his youth. Richard Wright's plot, storytelling pace, setting and dialogue, writing style and tone, and the ending both appeal and don't appeal to me. I personally don't like the plot because Wright emphasizes a young boy's struggle with white people. For example, Wright goes from job to job where he faces problems of racism. At each job he has to obey his bosses. In one instance, his white boss made him even fight with a fellow black man for show. The plot just keeps going on about his numerous jobs and how gets in trouble with the white folk. Therefore, I don't particularly care for the plot. The storytelling pace is too slow and harsh for me. In every chapter he has a new job or he is moving. Wright even quotes, "My days in my life are just dripping by." This quote really sets the pace of the entire book. For this reason, I don't like slow-moving books. Setting and atmosphere were two things that kept me interested. I liked the fact that there were many interesting places that shaped the story. The atmosphere was very tense, which I really focused on and liked. All over the state of Mississippi the story shows many difficult racial situations. These situations really keep me wanting to read. The characters and dialogue are beautifully written, too. Wright's description of people catch my attention like a fly to sweet-smelling trash. For instance, Wright describes his "Granny" as "old, white, wrinkled, grim face, framed by a halo of tumbling black hair". "Granny" acts like a religious slave-beater because she always talking about church, but will beat the life out of Richard. Richard Wright also is described as a skinny out-going kid. He also is somewhat rude. The dialogue is also very stimulating. He uses words like "sun-filled" streets and curse words that bring out the story's dialogue. The characters and dialogue demonstrated Wright's writing ability. Wright's writing style and tone is 20th century slang. The tone is also harsh and understandable. The tone is harsh because one of Richard's bosses quotes "I would kill myself if I was a nigger." This keeps the book true so I like this writing style and tone. Finally, the story resolution is one that fits the story. In the end Richard goes off and becomes a writer, which is another happy ending to a book, and who doesn't like happy endings? Although I didn't like what was happening in the book, I liked the truth and persistence of Richard in his life.
am 26. Januar 2000
Had I not known this was Richard Wright's own autobiography, I would probably have viewed it in a different light... However, because everything (well, I'm assuming everything) in this book is the truth and not fictional, I find that the author is a disgusting, self pitying man who is blaming everyone EXCEPT himself for his own faults.
Richard Wright truly shocks and revolts in me his novel about his life. I cannot for the life of me see why this book is hailed as his most "successful artistic work" when all it really is are several pages of conscious streaming which lacks structure and decency.
Before any of you ask, I am NOT White, and I am not Black. I don't believe that my decision on this book has anything to do with the fact that Wright seems to fall into the category or those who excuse themselves by saying "The white man is beating me down".
I surprised myself by reading through the whole book. All it really was were records of how he enjoyed torturing animals, burning down houses, and nurturing a hatred of everyone and everything.
Again, forgive me for being repetitive. I cannot stress how much I was appalled by Richard Wright as a man and how much I find this book unworthy of publishment.
am 30. August 1999
Richard Wright wrote one of my favorite novels, "Native Son," and this, my favorite autobiography. I never know what to think of an autobiography. First of all, the writer must have a huge ego, to write and publish the story of his or her life. Second, what writer of his own life story will tell the honest-to-God truth? I must admit, this is the only biography I've read of Mr. Wright, so I have no idea as to how accurate it is as to dates, occurrences, etc. So let me tell you why I love this book. It's because of Mr. Wright's love of books! Everything! His hunger for knowledge was incredible. . .he'd work 10 hours, eat a can of barely warm pork and beans and start reading everything he could put his hands on. (He had to talk another man at his job into letting him use his library card to check out books, because Mr. Wright was black and Negroes couldn't use the public library.) Mencken, Twain, Zola, Sinclair Lewis. . .I felt lazy after reading how this young man educated himself, against almost impossible odds, while I sit on my rear end and do nothing, with everything available to me at no price. This book will inspire you to be the best person that you can be.
am 15. Mai 2000
I recently read Black Boy by Richard Wright and I must say it is an amazing book. The book is about Richard growing up in the South in the early 1900's. It may sound a little boring but believe me it's not. Richard had a hard life growing up and that's what makes the book so interesting. Burning up houses, killing cats, and becoming a drunk were just some of the things he did before reaching the age of eight. The thing I like most about him is how he grew up very poor, moved from place to place, including an orphanage, never completed two consecutive school years, and still managed to become a well-educated young man and a world-famous writer. Although the book was very interesting, there were some parts at the end that I felt were a little boring, but maybe that's just me. Either way, I think Richard Wright was a very talented writer, and if you get the chance, you should read his autobiography, Black Boy. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of thirteen that is interested in learning about history or just likes to read about some hardships other people had to face growing up.