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Black Boy Chapter 12 Review.

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1 Black Boy Chapter 12 Review

2 Questions Friday Chapter 12 takes place in Memphis. Remember that Richard is trying to save money to move farther north to Illinois. He finds a job at another optical company. Important characters: Shorty, the elevator operator An unnamed white “Yankee” or northerner Mr. Olin Harrison

3 Surviving in the south: wearing a “mask”
“Each of us hated and feared the whites, yet had a white man put in a sudden appearance we would have assumed silent, obedient smiles” (229)

4 Connection: Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar ( ) wrote about this concept in “We Wear the Mask”


6 The Yankee Like Mr. Crane from earlier chapters, his attempt to help scares Richard He is also primarily unable to help – remember that the desire of one person to do good and to combat racism in the south is not sufficient. Groups of people joining together are necessary to fight injustice. Review pages (until the page break)

7 Priorities – necessities come before protesting injustice
“A man will seek to express his relation to the stars; but when a man’s consciousness has been riveted upon obtaining a loaf of bread, that loaf of bread is as important as the stars” (233).

8 Mr. Olin White man in the optical shop – you should connect his behavior to that of Pease and Reynolds in Mr. Crane’s shop He pretends to be Richard’s friend and encourages him to fight Harrison, another black boy who works for a rival optical company

9 The fight Richard and Harrison discover that they are each being encouraged to fight the other through lies involving dirty words, knives, etc. They know the white men are lying but cannot say so They ultimately fight ( ) for the enjoyment of the white men

10 Richard’s reaction to the fight
“I could not look at Harrison. I hated him and I hated myself” (243). “I felt that I had done something unclean, something for which I could never properly atone” (243).

11 Discuss Shorty sang, belittled himself, and convinced a white man to give him a quarter to kick him in the “rump” ( ) Did Richard ultimately do the same thing Shorty did?

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