I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.
p. 77 (American Hunger (1977))
So far only Wright has positively revealed the state of mind of a people bursting with energy, untroubled by feudal remains or a feudal past, soaked to the bone in traditions of individual freedom and free association traditions constantly held before them as the basis of their civilization, yet utterly unrealized in the face of automation and the threat of atomic annihilation.Richard Wright
But the moment he makes the attempt his words falter, for he is confronted and defied by the inexplicable array of his own emotions. Emotions are subjective and he can communicate them only when he clothes them in objective guise; and how can he ever be so arrogant as to know when he is dressing up the right emotion in the right Sunday suit?Richard Wright
But, because the blacks were so close to the very civilization which sought to keep them out, because they could not help but react in some way to its incentives and prizes, and because the very tissue of their consciousness received its tone and timbre from the strivings of that dominant civilization, oppression spawned among them a myriad variety of reactions, reaching from outright blind rebellion to sweet, other-worldly submissiveness.Richard Wright
It was this intolerable sense of feeling and understanding so much, and yet living on a plane of social reality where the look of a world which one did not make or own struck one with a blinding objectivity and tangibility, that made me grasp the revolutionary impulse in my life and the lives of those about me and far away.Richard Wright
And in a boy like Bigger, young, unschooled, whose subjective life was clothed in the tattered rags of American "culture," this primitive fear and ecstasy were naked, exposed, unprotected by religion or a framework of government or a scheme of society whose final faiths would gain his love and trust; unprotected by trade or profession, faith or belief; opened to every trivial blast of daily or hourly circumstance.Richard Wright
I found that I had written a book which even bankers' daughters could read and weep over and feel good about. I swore to myself that if I every wrote another book, no one would weep over it; that it would be so hard and deep that they would have to face it without the consolation of tears.Richard Wright
And then, while writing, a new and thrilling relationship would spring up under the drive emotion, coalescing and telescoping alien facts into a known and felt truth. That was the deep fun of the job; to feel within my body that I was pushing out to new areas of feeling, strange landmarks of emotion, tramping upon foreign soil, compounding new relationships of perceptions, making new and - until that very split second of time! - unheard-of and unfelt effects with words.Richard Wright
"Injustice which lasts for three long centuries and which exists among millions of people over thousands of square miles of territory, is injustice no longer; it is an accomplished fact of life. Men adjust themselves to their land; they create their own laws of being; their notions of right and wrong.Richard Wright
As a protective mechanism, I developed a terse, cynical mode of speech that rebuffed those who sought to get too close to me. Conversation was my way of avoiding expression; my words were reserved for those times when I sat down alone to write. My face was always a deadpan or a mask of general friendliness; no word or event could jar me into a gesture of enthusiasm or despair.Richard Wright
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