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Richard Wright and "Between the World and Me"

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Rachel Sawatzky

on 7 December 2013

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Transcript of Richard Wright and "Between the World and Me"

Richard Wright and "Between the World and Me"
Life
Literary Works
Some of his most famous works include:
Native Son
- About a young African American man who has so much anger and hate built up that he ends up committing horrific crimes.
12 Million Black Voices
- a photography compilation that goes hand in hand with
Native Son
.
Black Boy
- An autobiography of his life growing up.
"Between the World and Me"
-Can be found on page 243 in
From Totems to Hip Hop
.
-Written in 1935, and considered to be one of his most famous poems.
-Is a graphic description of a lynching.
-Begins with the narrator happening upon the remnants of the event.
- The speaker uses the sight that he sees to show the impossibility of ignorance as the images become clearer.

"Between the World and Me" continued
- By the seventh and eighth lines in the second stanza, the subject is being humanized personally by the specific details of the scene.
- The narrator then gets increasingly more involved in the surroundings as the poem continues.
- The setting slowly comes to life as the narrator realizes that he is the victim and he is first watching and then reliving his own horrific death.
Works Cited
- "Black Boy In Brooklyn." Ebony 1.1 (1945): 26. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
- Madigan, Mark. "Jena, Abu Ghraib, And Katrina: Using Popular Culture To Teach Wright's Works." Black Scholar 39.1/2 (2009): 72. History Reference Center. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
- Sullivan, Dennis, et al. "The Transformation Of Self And Other: Restorative Justice In Richard Wright’S Native Son1." Contemporary Justice Review 9.4 (2006): 401-425. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
- Wright, Richard. "Between the World and Me." From Totems to Hip-Hop. Ed. Ishmael Reed. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. 243-45. Print.

-Born into poverty in 1908 in Mississippi.
-Moved to Chicago at 19 and started writing.
-Was a member of the Communist party for a time, which inspired him in much of his well-known writings.
-One of the only African American authors of his time to make a decent living from his literary works.
- He lived comfortably with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn until 1947 when they moved to Europe.
-They lived in London and then ended up staying in Paris.
-Was criticized by W.E.B. DuBois for the negativity regarding Negro culture in
Black Boy.
-Died in Europe in 1960.
Richard Wright
Wright and wife Ellen.
Wright with daughter, Julia.
My two cents...
Wright puts the reader in the position of the victim which makes it painfully personal and intimate. At the same time he eases into it so that it doesn't feel overwhelming. It is a harsh picture of a reality that is both uncomfortable but also a necessary truth.
Full transcript