Black Boy
annon

Around 2000 B.C., Egyptians enslaved Jews inbondage like caged animals because they were targeted as a lesser race and
thus chosen for labor. Just 1500 years later, the Jews themselves were the
culprits of racism labeling the very association with Samaritans as a deep
sin. In 1861ę1865, the United States divided brother against brother in
one of its bloodiest battles of all time over black slavery. Racism
survives not simply as an intangible historic fable but as a real modern
problem, also. In current civilization Arab Palestinians war with Israelis
to find a homeland; the Ku Klux Klan draws its biggest membership influx
in over 20 years; and in the U.S. where freedom reigns, Americans have
never to date voted a person into the president\'s office who was not a
white male. Denny\'s restaurants, Texaco gas stations, and Avis car rental
are a few of the number of national companies accused of extolling racism
in this "apartheid America." Although less subtle in the lives of

Americans then, racism also thrived in the souls of people living during
the 1920\'s. Even though the war on slavery was over in the battle fields,
white racists were blood thirsty lions at heart, as was demonstrated in
the book ├├Black Boy──. The setting of ├├Black Boy── is in the deep
south of Jackson, Mississippi where whites attempted to tame into
submission blacks by hard discipline. Such was the case for Richard in
├├Black Boy──, his autobiography. It seemed that the more Richard gained
success, the more he was hurt. In ├├Black Boy──, Richard is abused by
whites because he reminds the whites of their lack of identity and failure
to meet society\'s expectations. ┴^B^H^G^H^Graft in the midst of a stormy
sea. Their lives became bland and their world became, "bleak and
undeniable." (193) The largeness, the coldness, and squalor of the world
to the white racists then and now are mountains of pain that the racists
can not scale. Like a motherless child, they feel lost and not cared for
by a world with all of those conditions. They lose their individuality and
then their selfęesteem. Those whites took the hate and despair that they
received, and punished blacks, a weaker race, with harsh discipline. When

Reynolds and Pease ganged up on Richard, Richard did, "feel no hate for
the men who had driven [him] from the job. They were not individual men,
but part of a huge implacable, elemental design." (229) By teaming up on
blacks like Pease and Reynolds did to Richard, whites are able to unite
and find power in numbers, and in turn satisfy their human need for pride.

Richard was commanded to distinguish the separation ď^A ď^A ^Hand does
lead to the separation of the races, and coupled with the ego that the
white man at the optical company demonstrated about one\'s race results in
racism. The cycle of racism ends in the action of transferring that pain
against those who had identities. This was true for Richard\'s Uncle

Hoskins as he, "had been killed by whites who had long coveted his
flourishing liquor business."(63) The whites began to hate the blacks,
thus delivering the same hate to the blacks that they themselves felt they
received from society. This end hate regenerates the system by leaving the
blacks with no identities, and so they started, "transferring their hatred
of themselves to others with a black skin and fighting." (298)
├├──Identity plays a part in racism, but the deterioration of identity
has its roots in external strain including that of society. Richard saw
the breakdown of character by pressures in Don, a worker at the optical
company whose, "position was not much better thanďoffhand, bantering way."
(289) Therefore the whites\' identity crisis as a result of the perceived
great expectations and the individual\'s weakness combine to further ware
away the individual to racism. ┴^B^H^G^H^GBoy──. At early childhood,

Richard remained blocked from the molding of society, and so did not
elicit a distinction between blacks and whites. Richard described them as,
"merely people like other people." (27) At childhood, Richard found the
truthęall peoples seemed somewhat equal. Whites were humbled by the
revelation that they were just normal, not the heroes of their dreams.

Whites domination over blacks was apparent in Richard\'s life as he
described the horrendous beating of a black woman who did not pay her
bills, and his later match with a car of white boys. The white boys
demonstrated their superiority, even telling Richard in a cocky manner,
"You\'re a lucky bastard, \'cause if you\'d said that to some other white
man,