BLACK BOY : CHAPTER 8 The summer of the 1925 year, Richard is looking for a job in the local sawmill. He’s determinate to get this job but he finally leaves after one of the workers shows him his right hand, which has three fingers missing. Understanding that this job is too dangerous for him, he prefers to stay at home. That shows us that Richard knows what’s good and what’s not. When Richard learns that Ned’s brother was killed by whites because they thought he was “fooling with a white prostitute” (p. 72), he feels terrible as he says “Inside of me my world crashed and my body felt heavy” (p. 172). This makes him more aware of white people even If he has never seen white brutality. This chokes him as he says that it altered his look of the world. That shows us that even if Richard doesn’t express his feelings, he still has some. Richard knows that he has never been like his classmates but he now feels very isolated (“my sense of isolation became doubly acute. ” P. 73) but when Richard learns that his uncle has forbidden his children to stay with Richard because he
Richard’s family, friends, and classmates advices him to avoid trouble and read the principal’s speech, but he refuses. Again Richard is determinate to get what he wants, and acts through the principles he has learned from the gang he used to stay with (“I was faced with a matter of principle. I wanted to graduate but I did not want to make a public speech that was not mine. ”p. 176) Although Richard knows that the principal’s speech is the better speech, as his uncle tells him, he will only read his speech.
When the day of graduation arrives, Richard reads his own speech and immediately quit the scene, paying no attention to the applause, to the handshakes, or to the invitations that he receives. We can see that he feels disgusted with everyone and everything as he says that” he did not want to see any of them again” (p. 180). The last part of this chapter is an important moment in the chapter as Richard says that “with almost 17 years of baffled living behind him, he faced the world in 1925” (p. 180). That means that Richard is ready to get in the adult’s world, although everyone considers him as a child.