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'Black Boy' Quotes

Richard Wright's Famous Novel

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Black Boy, by Richard Wright, was first published in 1945. This autobiographical novel was a bestseller, and it is an important 20th-century work of literature. Another famous novel by Richard Wright, Native Son, was published in 1940. Here are a few quotes from Black Boy.
  • "the faint cool kiss of sensuality when dew came onto my cheeks and shins as I ran down the wet green garden paths in the early morning."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 1, Black Boy

  • "I'm hungry now, but I won't live with you."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 1, Black Boy

  • "I'm doing all I can,"
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 1, Black Boy

  • "When you get through, kiss back there."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 2, Black Boy

  • "white, red and black," but quickly tells him to hush, saying, "They'll call you a colored man when you grow up. Do you mind, Mr. Wright?"
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 2, Black Boy

  • "You can't eat a dead dog, can you?"
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 2, Black Boy

  • "If I kissed my elbow, I would turn into a girl."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 2, Black Boy

  • "At the age of twelve, before I had had one full year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 3, Black Boy

  • "I said to myself, that boy just doesn't know what he's doing..."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 5, Black Boy

  • "The naked will of power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 5, Black Boy

  • "You ought to know God through some church."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 6, Black Boy

  • "even if that isn't right, it's not far wrong."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 6, Black Boy

  • "I never saw a dog bite that could really hurt..."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 7, Black Boy

  • "the principal's speech is the better speech."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 8, Black Boy

  • "My ass is tough and quarters is scarce."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 12, Black Boy

  • "This was the culture from which i sprang. This was the terror from which I fled."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 14, Black Boy

  • "Color hate defined the place of black life as below that of white life..."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 15, Black Boy

  • "Having been thrust out of the world because of my race, I had accepted my destiny by not being curious about what shaped it."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 16, Black Boy

  • "Trying to please everybody, I pleased nobody..."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 18, Black Boy

  • "We must have a purge."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 18, Black Boy

  • "You lost people!"
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 19, Black Boy

  • "I lived in the South and I never saw any chain gangs."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 19, Black Boy

  • "Get out of our ranks!"
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 20, Black Boy

  • "I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger of life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human."
    - Richard Wright, Chapter 20, Black Boy

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