Gritty: Richard Wright 'Black Boy' (1945)

There’s lots of indecency in this memoir ­­– vile racism, horrific violence – but readers shouldn’t be protected from Wright’s rage and bitterness.

  • On the floor of the US senate, a Theodore Bilbo said "It is the dirtiest, filthiest, lousiest, most obscene piece of writing that I have ever seen in print.”
  • Wright’s memoir is emotionally and narratively like many published in the last 20 years.
  • And the Irish weren’t the only ones who’ve struggled with this book – this text has an epic history of censorship


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Supreme Court case featuring 'Black Boy'

Richard Wright

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