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Black Boy
Black Boy
by Richard Wright
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Black Boy Education Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

There had existed in Old Russia millions of poor, ignorant people who were exploited by a few, educated, arrogant noblemen, and it became natural for the Russian Communists to associate betrayal with intellectualism. But there existed in the Western world an element that baffled and frightened the Communist party: the prevalence of self-achieved literacy. Even a Negro, entrapped by ignorance and exploitation—as I had been—could, if he had the will and the love for it, learn to read and understand the world in which he lived. And it was these people that the Communists could not understand. (2.19.365)

Richard is a self-educated man, or, to be fancy, an "autodidact." We get why Russian Communists might be scared of him, but what is up with the American Communists? Didn’t this country practically coin the phrase "self-made man"?

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