In Black Boy, fighting is just a part of Richard’s life. He fights at home. He fights at school. That’s just how it is, and it seems like that’s how it’s always going to be. But Richard manages to break free. When he grows up, Richard tries to leave behind his violent lifestyle—even when his new friends wants him to fight. It’s almost as though Wright thinks that a society based around race is always going to be violent—that violence is built into a system in which people are differentiated based on the color of their skin.
In Black Boy, violence is an everyday part of life that will never go away.
In Black Boy, pacifism is an invitation to let other people beat you up. The only way to survive is to fight back.