\'Black Boy\'

So it is true. History ignored repeats itself. I have heard the quote many a time, but did I ever listen? Of course not, “That won’t happen to me”, every teenager’s motto. From reading the story Black Boy by Richard Wright, I learned that history does repeat itself when ignored. In Black Boy, the writer described his childhood in the early 1900’s. He describes problems much like today. This point was also made certain by other stories we read, such as, New African by Andrea Lee, and The Grave by Katherine Ann Porter. In which the authors described childhood’s from more than twenty years ago, and there are many of the same experiences as now.
In the book Black Boy, the author describes (from a child’s point-of-view), the problems of his childhood. The problems he encounters include a single parent family, a father who leaves his mother, starvation, and missed child support payments. There is even one seen in the book his father is taken to court by his mother to rebuke the father’s privilege to see his child. The father proceeds to lie in court and the judge ruled in his favor! Many families in today’s society are single parent families, just like in this book. For whatever reason, one parent leaves the other with the kids and never pays the child support. Then when they are sued for the missed payments, they lie to the court and win!
In the story, New African, there is a totally different conflict, however it also describes a current day situation. There is a little girl in this story whose brother gets baptized. Afterward, everyone around her tries to get her to be baptized, since her father is the pastor. For example, her mother and father drop subtle hints to her like a sermon about baptism, and having her go watch the baptisms up front. One of her aunts take a bolder approach however. She tries to physically force the child to be baptized. Another of her aunts tries to bribe her into getting baptized by offering her candy. There are many situations this could be compared to. For instance any situation where a person tries to force a child to do something they don’t want to do, especially when it is something that is expected of them by the society. This happens everyday in almost all societies. This also happens sometimes when a child does something wrong. They are forced, for their own good of course, to do something they don’t want to do.
In the story the Grave, a “Tom Boy” and her brother go to a family graveyard to play. She finds a carved bird, and he finds a ring. They decide to trade because she sees the ring as pretty. Later they go out hunting with their guns and shoot a rabbit. Her brother went over and picked it up and discovers that it is pregnant. She begins to feel bad for killing it. Which is because of her motherly instincts coming out. Then towards the end of the excerpt, the little girl is walking with her grandmother and some elderly ladies criticize her for wearing jeans instead of a dress. As in today’s society, this author wrote about a tom boy’s changing into a little girl with different feeling towards the things in the world. Also, the author describes a situation much like one you might see to day, where an elderly person seems to believe that a society will always stay the same, that what their experiences were would always be what a modern child’s experience will be. When in actuality a society is ever changing and evolving. Which means portions of childhood change and portions of childhood’s stay the same.
In conclusion, I now see that there is some truth to the statement “History ignored will forever be repeated.” I always thought that my life was unique, but as it turns out, even my parents and grandparents had similarities between their childhood and mine.

Category: English