Thursday, February 24, 2011

Don Howard Salutes Black History Month - Richard Wright

Richard Wright
 Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) was an American author of powerful, sometimes controversial novels, short stories and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes. His work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century.

Wright’s novel, Native Son, was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author. The lead character, Bigger Thomas, represented limitations that society placed on African Americans. He could only gain his own agency and self-knowledge by committing heinous acts. Wright was criticized for his works' concentration on violence. In the case of Native Son people complained that he portrayed a black man in ways that seemed to confirm whites' worst fears.

In April 2009, Wright was featured on a U.S. Postage Stamp. The 61 cent, two ounce rate stamp is the 25th installment of the literary arts series and features a portrait of Richard Wright in front of snow–swept tenements on the South Side of Chicago, a scene that recalls the setting of Native Son.

Wright received several different literary awards during his lifetime including the Spingarn Medal in 1941, the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1939, and the Story Magazine Award.

Works of fiction included Uncle Tom's Children, The Man Who Was Almost a Man, Native Son and The Outsider; non-fiction included Black Boy.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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