When Richard Wright was growing up and when he moved North, the Blues had come up from underground and set the pace of the times. Louis Armstrong, Mamie Smith, and Bessie Smith all sang of that era and its significance for the many blacks moving into the northern ghettos. Unlike their rural predecessors Sonny Terry and Big Bill Broonzy the new Blues singers dealt primarily with urban life. Therefore, just as the spiritual music of the South inspired Wright, the Blues influenced the tone of his recollections. His portrait of his father is particularly relevant to that era, as is his picture of his mother, her sickness, and his grandfather's death. These are standard examples of black experiences in the beginning of this century. And just as the Blues is expressed as a tone in Black Boy, folklore is expressed as a style. Every culture has its folklore, which precedes and often influences the first stages of its literature. Folklore
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