Black Boy. A Record of Childhood and Youth.

The author’s stark haunting autobiography of his life while living in the South

First Edition of Richard Wright’s fourth book. The haunting tale of his incredibly chaotic and extraordinarily difficult Southern childhood. One filled with constant hunger, a life of poverty, often spent living in slums, fighting, and the ever-present threat of living in the deep South where intense racism continually spilled over into active violence.

“Along with his accounts of mistreatments by whites, Wright describes the complicity of Southern blacks in their own oppression. Wright’s family strove to make him conform to the submissive, servile behavior expected of black people, often beating him when he asserted himself to strongly [...] [A]n outstanding account of a particularly sensitive type of artistic personality striving for identity…”¹

A powerful and often difficult book. Black Boy has also been described as a portrait of the artist making his way, with similarities to Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. “Richard Wright was the first African American writer to enter mainstream American literature. A watershed figure in African American literature [...] he was never interested in pleasing his readers. Wright wanted his words to be weapons.”²

Description: Black Boy. A Record of Childhood and Youth.

New York and London: Harper and Brothers, (1945). First Edition.  228, [1, (colophon)]pp. Cloth. Dulling to spine gilt, neat owner’s name inside, endpapers with some spotting and light offsetting, else very good in a worn and chipped dust jacket with numerous interior tape mends; now protected in a new mylar wrapper.


Notes. 1. Metzger, Black Writers. 2. Gates, et al AAL pp917–918. Upon his decease, Wright was cremated with a copy of “Black Boy.” [Blockson]

Price: $100.00