Life is a classroom, or at least that’s what Black Boy wants us to think. Even though people brand him as an "intellectual," Richard actually has very little formal training. The lessons he picks up are from the streets, at home, at his jobs, and in church. Yet, somehow, he ends up seeming even smarter than college graduates. And it doesn’t look like Richard is planning to stop learning any time soon.
Formal education is not important in Black Boy. What you teach yourself matters more.
Richard gains many different kinds of knowledge throughout the book, and all are important to be a well-educated person.