FOR ALL AGES

51+ Richard Wright Quotes From The Author Of 'Black Boy'

Richard Wright quotes are insightful.

Richard Nathaniel Wright was a prolific American writer who heavily wrote on the issue of race.

Richard Wright is primarily known for his memoir 'Black Boy.' The book deals with Richard Wright growing up as an African-American boy.

Richard Wright has also penned other books like 'Native Son,' 'Uncle Tom's Children,' and 'Eight Men.' Richard Wright books are an eye-opener for those who aren't aware of the struggles black people have had to face and still do. His works are especially essential in its portrayal of the North and the South problem. Reading these Richard Wright quotes will give you his perspective of living in America at that age.

Did you find the Richard Wright quotes helpful? Then check out these Langston Hughes quotes and Zora Neale Hurston quotes for more strong voices and quotes from the African-American community.

Best Richard Wright Quotes

Richard Wright quotes are great conversation starters.

Here are some great Richard Wright quotes from the eloquent writer who used his pen to protest against the discrimination practiced against his community.

1. "Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread."

‒ Richard Wright.

2. "Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books…"

‒ Richard Wright.

3. "Violence is a personal necessity for the oppressed...It is not a strategy consciously devised. It is the deep, instinctive expression of a human being denied individuality."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

4. "The moment we act as if it's true, then it's true."

‒ Richard Wright.

5. "The white folks like for us to be religious, then they can do what they want to with us."

‒ Richard Wright.

6. "I didn't know I was really alive in this world until I felt things hard enough to kill for 'em."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

7. "Love grows from stable relationships, shared experience, loyalty, devotion, trust."

‒ Richard Wright.

8. "You are your own law, so you'll be your own judge."

‒ Richard Wright.

9. "They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel that the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged."

‒ Richard Wright.

10. "I soon made myself a nuisance by asking far too many questions of everybody. Every happening in the neighborhood, no matter how trivial, became my business."

‒ Richard Wright.

11. "Don't leave inferences to be drawn when evidence can be presented."

‒ Richard Wright.

12. "I knew that I lived in a country in which the aspirations of black people were limited, marked-off. Yet I felt that I had to go somewhere and do something to redeem my being alive."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

13. "All literature is protest."

‒ Richard Wright.

14. "Make up your mind, Snail! You are half inside your house, And halfway out!"

‒ Richard Wright.

15. "Men simply copied the realities of their hearts when they built prisons."

‒ Richard Wright.

Richard Wright' Black Boy' Quotes

Richard Wright quotes help to speak up for the Black community.

'Black Boy' Richard Wright quotes are indispensable when you are trying to learn more about the author. Here are some quotes that will let you know more about Richard Wright and his love for the people.

16. "It might have been that my tardiness in learning to sense white people as 'white' people came from the fact that many of my relatives were 'white’-looking people."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

17. "The distress I sensed in her voice was as sharp and painful as the lash of a whip on my flesh."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

18. "At the age of twelve, before I had had one full year of formal schooling, I had...a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

19. "I would remember to dissemble for short periods, then I would forget and act straight and human again, not with the desire to harm anybody, but merely forgetting the artificial status of race and class."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

20. "I walked down Capitol Street feeling that the sidewalk was unreal, that I was unreal, that the people were unreal, yet expecting somebody to demand to know what right I had to be on the streets."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

21. "I did not know if the story was factually true or not, but it was emotionally true."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

22. "The white stenographer looked at me with wide eyes and I felt drenched in shame, naked to my soul."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

23. "I would reclaim his disordered days and cast them into a form that people could grasp, see, understand, and accept."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

24. "I went into the sunshine and walked home like a blind man."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

25. "I mopped the store, cautiously waiting for the white people to move out of my way in their own good time."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

26. "I had begun coping with the white world too late. I could not make subservience an automatic part of my behavior."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

27. "I was not leaving the South to forget the South, but so that some day I might understand it."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

28. "So, pretending to conform to the laws of the whites, grinning, bowing, they let their fingers stick to what they could touch. And the whites seemed to like it."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

29. "I did not know when I would be thrown into a situation where I would say the wrong word to the wrong white man and find myself in trouble."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

30. "I had now seen at close quarters the haughty white men who made the laws; I had seen how they acted, how they regarded black people, how they regarded me."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

31. "But I had learned to master a great deal of tension now; I had developed, slowly and painfully, a capacity to contain it within myself without betraying it in any way."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

32. "My body was thin, my overcoat shabby, and each gust of wind chilled my blood."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

33. "I feared that if I clashed with whites I would lose control of my emotions and spill out words that would be my sentence of death."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

34. "Last night I had found a naïve girl. This morning I had been a naïve boy."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

35. "My personality was numb, reduced to a lumpish, loose, dissolved state."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Black Boy'.

Richard Wright Quotes From His Books

As a prolific writer, Richard Wright penned several books. Here are some Richard Wright quotes from his best-known books. These quotes will surely open up your mind about the ways in which certain humans are treated in this world.

36. "Literature is a struggle over the nature of reality."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

37. "Pity can purge us of hostility and arouse feelings of identification with the characters…"

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

38. "Reading was like a drug, a dope. The novels created moods in which I lived for days."

‒ Richard Wright.

39. "I was never, never, under any conditions, to fight white folks again."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Uncle Tom's Children'.

40. "You asked me questions nobody ever asked me before. You knew that I was a murderer two times over, but you treated me like a man..."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

41. "Watching the white people eat would make my empty stomach churn and I would grow vaguely angry."

‒ Richard Wright.

42. "But he is product of a dislocated society; he is a dispossessed and disinherited man..."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

43. "We black folk, our history and our present being, are a mirror of all the manifold experiences of America."

‒ Richard Wright.

44. "Every movement of his body is an unconscious protest."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

45. "With a twitching nose

A dog reads a telegram

On a wet tree trunk."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Haiku: This Other World'.

46. "I give permission

For this slow spring rain to soak

The violet beds."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Haiku: This Other World'.

47. "Even though Mr. Dalton gave millions of dollars for...education, he would rent houses to [black people] only in this prescribed area, this corner of the city tumbling down from rot."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

48. "He sat. The white cat still contemplated him with large, moist eyes."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

49. "They felt that it was much easier and safer to rob their own people, for they knew that white policemen never really searched diligently for [black people] who committed crimes against other [black people]."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

50. "Having been thrust out of the world because of my race, I had accepted my destiny by not being curious about what shaped it"

‒ Richard Wright, 'Uncle Tom's Children'.

51. "If you think I'm telling tall tales, get chummy with some white cop who works in a Black Belt district and ask him for the lowdown."

‒ Richard Wright, 'Native Son'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Richard Wright quotes, then why not take a look at Coretta Scott king quotes and [Black history inspirational quotes].

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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