Black Boy Chapter 10
Next, Richard goes to work at a hotel, where most of the employees are also black. There is much talk of sex and gambling, and the roles that blacks play for whites become very evident to Richard. Even the black women are treated in ways unacceptable to Richard: they allow themselves to be groped by any white man.
Dying to go North, Richard begins stealing various small material goods to sell. He gets involved in bootlegging, a business run by the prostitutes at the hotel. Richard does not like to commit crimes or get involved in such sordidness, but he thinks it is necessary. His guilt and fear over stealing climaxes while he is working at the movies. The ticket-taker and clerks have a system in which they work together to pocket some of the theatre's profits. When Richard is let in on the scheme, however, he is unsure about whether he is being trapped by his boss or not. Terrified, alone, but desperate for money, he takes part in the plot. Everything goes smoothly, and he gets enough money to move to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.