| Quote #1
Yet when school let out that first day I ran joyously home with a brain burdened with racy and daring knowledge, but not a single idea from books. (1.1.266)
Richard is learning a lot of things at school all right. Too bad they’re not exactly the kind of things tested on the SAT.
| Quote #2
I went to school, feeling that my life depended not so much upon learning as upon getting into another world of people. (1.5.3)
Ding ding ding! Finally, Richard gets something right. He only makes it to 9th grade, so he can’t get too far on his formal education alone. He needs to find a different way to use his talents.
| Quote #3
Already my personality was lopsided; my knowledge of feeling was far greater than my knowledge of fact. Though I was not aware of it, the next four years were to be the only opportunity for formal study in my life. (1.5.4)
Richard may not have much book smarts (yet), but he does have a lot of street smarts. Which kind of smarts does Black Boy end up thinking is more important?