Josh's page of Glory

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on January 8, 2008 at 1:57:22 pm

Reflection #1: (general emotions and feelings of Black Boy by Richard Wright)


Black Boy on a scale from 0 to 10 i will give it a 6 only because of the crazy beginning.  I feel that Richard Wright is basically a genius and wrote an astounding book, but for a 17 year old suburban white kid, i felt that i just couldn't relate to the entire book, especially the 2nd half.  The 2nd half of the book shows Richard's struggle to keep a job through a racist America.  The ending of the book left us kind of empty because he finished writing this book close to his 50's, so i felt that he still had a while ahead of him.  Also the last 100 pages or so the book was a steady line, with some minimal peaks and valleys.  I couldn't completely find any climax or falling action or build up of anything.  I felt in general the 2nd half was very repetitive with losing and finding jobs.  After finishing the book completely i realized why Mr. Glover only teaches the first half of this book.  The 1st half of this book, i feel was unbelievable.  The text completely pulled me in and i flew through it.  Within the first ten pages, Richard at an extremely young age burns down his entire house.  He becomes a drunk at the age of 6 and he goes through the wildest days that i can not even imagine.  I can relate it to the Kite Runner, how it just keeps getting worse and worse, you just think its gotta stop, BUT IT DOESNT! Richard's unbeliveable childhood and adolensence sends us through: starvation, alcoholism, burning houses, moving through three states, and becoming valevictorian while barely making it to school. We also go through: abandoning of father, hundreds of beatings, escaping and returning, lost hope, poverty, mother having many strokes, and so much more.  I mean if you could imagine the worst things ever happening to one kid, it literally does.  We see racism in it's finest. I mean i was reading this book wondering how this kid did not become a serial killer or something.  I was so intrigued by how much a single child may go through.  I also kept realizing how great i have everything, and how much i take for granted in my life.  It is almost pathetic.  I feel that i have nothing to show, i have never even broken a bone.  Of course i would never want anything to happen to me, but what i feel is that i kind of want an adventure, i want to go find something and work very hard to make something of my life like Richard did.  He climbed over thousands of obstacles both big and small, and became the African American Writer he always dreamed of being.  I realized that i will not be lazy, because laziness is a waste of time.  So many thoughts roamed my head after reading this first half because not only was it an amazing childhood to tell, Richard Wright wrote it amazingly.  He is truly a literary genius, basically teaching himself how to read and write and he produces after years of struggle a book of excellence. 






Reflection #2: (The Main points i personally learned from reading this book)


A few main points that i personally learned from reading this book, and the importance of these ideas.


    1.) Knowledge is everything.

                Period.  Looking at Richards life, the main reason he is where he is in life is because of his unbelievable natural ability of intelligence.  With also a lot of hard work involved to educate himself personally to be ahead of his game, but in most he was a natural.  But i truly believe that knowledge of yourself, your surrondings in your life, and knowledge of the world around you is one of the greatest gifts someone can own.  It is the key to success.  Not just success with the gain of money, but personal success, emotional success.  It is something that keeps yelling in the back of my mind where i just want to keep reading and educating myself to be improved as a person.  Every ounce of education you put in your body comes out and helps in someway.  Richard Wright was valevictorian and was ALWAYS smarter than he should have been for his age, and that is a huge reason why he got a lot of the jobs he did during the depression.  He knew how to talk and get himself out of situations because of his intelligence.  I am not just talking about book smarts, but streets smart.  Being skilled in many areas by pushing yourself to be great. That is intelligence, and that is success, and to a point personal happiness.  Everything flies by, why not slow down and learn a little bit about what is actually flying by.  For me, i would say it puts a lot more meaning in every day. 



        2.) take advantage of opportunity, and be grateful for what you have.

                   BAM! in your face, it is almost self explanatory.  I have realized it is not about what you have, how many bmw's you own, the Gucci material and the ugg boots.  Ha i know most people know this is in general, but after truly reading about Richard Wrights life, the little things matter.   Every book we read teaches us things that matter and are worth reflecting about.  The opportunity of being a part of Jefferson High School and being financially secure where money isn't a problem is opportunity for a future of success.  What I and my classmates don't always realize is that we are different than most.  Different not in a bad way but a priveleged way.  Our surburban wonderland, our skin color, our parents financial success all gives us beautiful opportunity that 50% do not see or take advantage of.  It's unbelievable how many obstacles that we do not even see, compared to most of minneapolis kids that i have met through JagCorps.  It is crazy how much different they are.  Almost as a different breed, with different opportunity and morals.  We are all different and i fully realize how i need to take full advantage of my opportunity and NOT take for granted this opportunity and my not deserved position in life of surburbia.  I learned i must make something of this opportunity and myself.  I look as Richards life as an inspiration to respect every human and to be someone with my life, because i only have one life to go through. So why not give it to others with Love.



    Reflection #3 (Racism, Respect, Being Ready)





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