Richard Wright, who would have been years old this year, was, arguably, the most influential African-American writer of the twentieth century.
His formal education ended after he completed the ninth grade, but gaining access to the public library with the help of a white coworker opened up a new world of books for him, eventually inspiring him to become a writer. Richard Wright and the Library Card is a fictionalized account of this powerful story, deftly adapted by William Miller from a scene in Black Boy.
Miller--a professor of African American literature and author of the critically acclaimed Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery, A House by the River, and Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree-- masterfully builds suspense, as readers wonder how the young African American will quench his thirst for books without being busted by the local white librarian.
Ages 5 to 9 Product Description As a young black man in the segregated South of the s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library.
The Last Day of Slavery. All focus on important moments in the lives of these prominent African Americans. Growing up in the Mississippi of the segregated South of the s, Wright was only allowed to go to school through the 9th grade. His mother had taught him to read by using the newspaper and Richard read everything he could find.
At the age of 17 Wright traveled north to Memphis, where he got a job sweeping the floors and doing other jobs in the office of an optician. Wanting to check out books at the local library Wright is told he cannot do so because he is black. The only things he can read are old books and newspapers that he finds in the trash.
But then, with the help of a white co-worker, Wright is able to come up with a strategy for circumventing the rules. The detail is not in "Black Boy," but certainly having the librarian laugh reinforces both the irony and the injustice of Wright have to lie in order to gain access to books to read.
For that matter the language in the story is made appropriate for young readers, who do not need to hear the epithets in use at the time to understand the prejudice Wright and other African-Americans faced in the segregated South.
This volume has the advantage of wonderful impressionistic illustrations by Gregory Christie that pointedly capture the contrast between the face that young Richard shows to the suspicious white librarian, and the real face that comes alive when he is able to read books.
Wright considers every page of each book to be "a ticket to freedom," and when the young Richard leaves Memphis to go to Chicago and a new life, hopefully young readers will look forward to actually reading some of the important books that he wrote.
But at this point the main benefit will be the sense of how things were different back then; I wonder how many young readers could look at the cover and the title of this book and guess correctly the story found inside.
By Mchaiku on Apr 10, Richard Wright grew up in the early s. A chance for a job took him to Memphis, Tennessee, and there he continued to yearn for books. How difficult it is now to imagine not being allowed a library card because of race.
Thousands of books, but only white folks could check them out! At work Richard finally approached one white man who was willing to loan his library card.
Bending the truth a bit to use the card, young Richard found a new life spread out before him. The books he read inspired his own talent. He worked with words all his life to express his beliefs in freedom and equality.
Encourage children to tell about their first library experiences. Illustrates How Important Libraries Are! By Lynn Ellingwood on Mar 03, With all this obession over testing in school and phonics, researchers have repeatedly found that access to books and libraries are really the key to literacy for a people.
Apparently segregationists understood this and tried to limit the accessibility of books to African-Americans in the South. Richard Wright grew into a writer and was able to use words and writing not because he learned phonics or took tests but because he had books to read.Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller, R.
Gregory Christie As a young black man in the segregated South of the s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library.
As Wright reveals in his autobiography Black Boy, he borrowed the library card of an Irish co-worker and forged notes to the librarian so he could read: "Dear Madam: Will you please let this nigger boy have some books by H.
Mencken?" Determined to leave the South before he would irretrievably overstep the bounds of Jim Crow restrictions on. As a young black man in the segregated South of the s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library.
This touching account tells of his love of reading, and how his unwavering perseverance, along with the help of a co-worker, came together to make Richard's . Richard Wright and the Library Card by Gregory Christie and William Miller | Books, Textbooks, Education | eBay! Who Was Richard Wright?
African-American writer and poet Richard Wright was born on September 4, , in Roxie, Mississippi, and published his first short story at the age of urbanagricultureinitiative.com is the leading provider of online obituaries for the newspaper industry.
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