His junior high principal tries to force him to read a valedictory speech that whites will find acceptable.
Wright refuses to grovel before whites, and when he is repeatedly beaten, threatened, and fired from jobs, black peers like his friend Griggs speak as though Wright is to blame: "Learn how to live in the South," Griggs says.
Wright constantly clashed with what he saw as Black American submission, and, for personal reasons, clashed with all religious dogmatism.
Racism shapes every aspect of Richard Wright's life.
His brutal early childhood experiences make him worldly, foulmouthed, and skeptical of easy answers.
He rejects his grandmother's religion and threatens Aunt Addie and Uncle Tom when they try to whip him. Wright blames him for bringing God's wrath on the family.Everywhere he goes, Wright meets African Americans who pressure him to act submissively toward whites.At school his peers shun him or act threatened when he reveals high ambitions.They suppress curiosity and drown their humanity in alcoholism and petty squabbles.Wright says racism makes black people hate and doubt themselves. Whites even use violence for fun when they attempt to trick Wright and another black man, Harrison, into killing each other.Black Boy is both an indictment of American racism and a narrative of the artist's development.As a child growing up in the Jim Crow South, Richard faced constant pressure to submit to white authority.However, his personal experiences clearly affected his relationship with it.Just as he suffered abuse and hostility from his own family, so did he receive little comfort from the larger black community.Throughout his childhood, Richard suffered violence at the hands of his family for daring to rebel against his assigned role of humble silence.In Black Boy, he often charges the black community with perpetuating the agenda of white racism.