"Come ova here and do yo work boy!"Did you address me with a sir boy?" This is something a racist white man or female might say to a young black boy in the South. How would one feel if they were treated differently just because of their race? Would it have immediate and long term effects on one's life? The two statements above are examples of how people talk to their labeled inferiors. In this case, this pertains to the autobiographical book Black Boy, written by Richard Wright. This relates to racism in the deep South, and how it changes and affects a young African-American living through this tough time. Racism towards Richard had several long term effects.
It caused him to think differently of people, to have a different view on life, and learn never to give up. The first lasting and long term effect racism towards Richard had on him was that it caused him to think differently of people. Racism caused Richard to think differently of people because he did not understand how, or why the white people that he lived with hated him, and his race with such a great passion. He never comprehended how people could have so much hatred inside of them to act, and treat another race so poorly.
Richard reads in an advertisement from the newspaper he was selling, "The only dream of a is to be President and to sleep with white women... ." (Wright 131). This quote is depicting an African-American. The advertisement was degrading to Richard, because this was one of the first times that he realized that people from all over the country hated his race, not just from his small town. He did not know what to do, what to feel, or how to react to such a statement.
It was instances like these that caused him to think differently of people. After he overcame, and passed instances like these, he began to have a different view on life. The second long term effect that racism towards Richard had on him was that it caused him to have a different view on life. Richard experienced many occasions where racist acts were committed and directed towards him. These acts could have been directed towards him for several reasons, but they all had one major effect on him: it caused him to have a different view on life.
When Richard was looking for a job, he kept on getting rejected, and he could not figure out why. Griggs, an old classmate, had given him some advice. He says to Richard, "'Then, for God's sake, learn how to live in the South[Referring to how to live with white people]!' " (183). Richard was boggled by the remark, after he began to mouth off at Griggs. Griggs told him that this is what he meant.
He told Richard that he can not mouth of, and be rude in front of white people. Griggs advised Richard that he should act with manners, and act with a certain sense of courteousness towards white people. Richard stood there for a moment, and thought about what he was just told. This is what changed his view on life. He began to realize that just to survive and live in the South, he had to make himself seem inferior to the white man, when he knew it was wrong. This is what caused Richard to have a different view on life.
After going through all of this, he learned never to give up. The last and most powerful long term effect racism had on Richard was that he learned never to give up. Facing racism head on was no easy task for Richard. He was presented with many challenges and setbacks. Going through this, he learned never to give up. One day, when Richard was working, he had to ride his bicycle to run errands for his boss.
When one of his tires went flat, he was forced to walk. A group of young white men pulled up, and offered him a ride in their truck. He was talking to them, and all of a sudden, he was struck by a beer bottle on the head, and thrown to the ground. They say to him, "' you sure ought to be glad it was us you talked to that way.
You " re a lucky, 'Cause if you'd said that to some other white man, you might " ve been a dead '" (181). Richard forgot to address one of the young white men as "Sir." This is why the young man hit him with the bottle. This ordeal caught Richard off-guard. After this experience, Richard acquired an attitude of never to give up.
He also acquired traits of determination, and hard working. He began to set goals of getting jobs, making money, and moving to the North. His drive and passion to never to give up came from experiences like these. He learned how to pick himself up, and move on. Richard was not only changed by racism, he was in a way, re-born into a new person. He overcame, and defeated many challenges and setbacks that were presented to him.
Racism towards Richard had several long term effects. It caused him to think differently of people, to have a different view on life, and learn never to give up. These were the three significant, and life changing effects racism had on Richard. They molded, and formed Richard into a new person. He not only faced and conquered racism in an admirable fashion; he brought something good out of something bad.