Wright, Richard


African-American Writer

Richard Wright explored the experiences of black men in America, focusing on their despair under, and resistance to, the racism of the early to mid-twentieth century. Several of Wright's novels problematize African-American masculinity by questioning the possibility that black men can achieve true manhood while also confronting a code of capitalism and white supremacy that defines all black males as “boys.”

Born in Mississippi, Wright was deserted by his sharecropper father at the age of ten. After a youth spent sporadically working and going to school, he moved to Chicago during the Great Depression and became involved in politics. He joined the Communist Party in the early 1930s and began writing novels celebrating communism as a guarantor of equality and justice—and as a vehicle for ...

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