Wright, Richard (1908-1960) - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

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Wright, Richard (1908-1960)

Once at the center of African-American culture—chosen by the Schomburg Collection poll as one of the "twelve distinguished Negroes" of 1939, recipient of the Spingarn Medal in 1941 (then the highest award given by the NAACP), and mentor to young black writers such as James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ralph Ellison—Richard Wright became an unpalatable novelist to readers and critics of his own race in the 1980s and 1990s.

Born on a plantation in Roxie, near Natchez, Mississippi, Wright spent his childhood traveling intermittently from one relative to the next because of his father's desertion and his mother's bad health. In 1927, Wright moved to the South Side of Chicago where he worked as a postal clerk and insurance policy vendor. In Chicago, Wright joined first the John Reed Club and then the Communist Party and started to publish essays and poetry in...

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This section contains 1,173 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Wright, Richard (1908-1960) Encyclopedia Article
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