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Unformatted text preview: Therefore, when Richard leaves the South in Black Boy, it marks a turning point not only in his own life, but in the history of black literature. Much of the theme of his autobiography is summed up in his essay, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow," in which he describes with awful honesty the effects of the caste system on black people. No one before Wright had written of this subject as he did, and, consequently, the essay had a revolutionary value. Wright explained how it is necessary for a people living in a society founded on free enterprise and individualism to have a background of education in one's own personal values and free access to the surrounding society. Without those qualities, and without a history of free choice, black Americans are forced to remain in close-knit, pre-individualistic groups; there, the possibility of survival is even...
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- Fall '08
- Black Boy