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Malcolm X1

Short Summary of Black Boy: Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth is hailed in the genre of American literature as one of the most important non-fiction works documenting not only a piece of history, but a piece of African American culture. The novel starts with Richard at the age of four, who mistakenly burns down the house after starting a fire out of boredom. As punishment, Richard is beaten - a typical punishment he receives from authority figures. When Richard father figuratively says to kill a cat outside (because it is making too much noise), he purposely disobeys his father by strangling the cat. When his mother makes him bury and pray for the cat, he is haunted by the image of the cat's ghost. Richard's father deserts the family, and his mother is left to earn money to feed the family, leaving Richard and his brother unattended. When Richard is six years old, he wanders into the local saloon and learns how to drink and swear. Despite Richard's obvious intellectual capabilities exemplified by his quick learning skills, he is still unaware of the relationship between blacks and whites in the South. Richard and his family move to Elaine, Arkansas, to live with Aunt Addie and Uncle Hoskins a successful proprietor of a saloon catering to black workers. On the way to Elaine, they stop to stay with Granny in Jackson. When Ella the young schoolteacher renting out a room from Granny reads Richard the story of Bluebeard, Granny kicks her out of the house for blasphemy and "Devil stuff." Richard is also beaten for saying obscenities to his Grandmother. In Elaine, Richard is allowed to eat as much as he wants for the first time. But when an envious group of white men murder Uncle Hoskins, Richard and his family flee the town. They stay at Granny's house for a period before moving on to West Helena, where Richard would associate with the black neighborhood children and ridicule Jewish people in the neighborhood. They live in a pov...

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