Richard Wright Biography | Author of Bright and Morning Star

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Richard Nathaniel Wright was born on Rucker's Plantation on September 4, 1908, in Roxie, Mississippi. This was, writes Alfred Kazin in his article "Too Honest for His Own Time," "a terrible place for a poor black to be born." Wright's father, Nathan, an illiterate sharecropper, deserted his family when Wright was five years old. Ella (Wilson), Wright's mother, was a schoolteacher, but after her husband left, she had to take on jobs as a maid or cook. Wright was forced to move from state to state, as his mother pursued jobs and looked for financial support from other family members.

Because of his mother's disintegrating health, Wright spent the latter part of his youth under the supervision of his maternal grandmother, Margaret Bolden Wilson, a strict Seventh Day Adventist who believed that all nonreligious books were works of the devil. Wright, gifted with unusual intelligence, never understood why his mother...

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This section contains 728 words
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Buy the Bright and Morning Star Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Bright and Morning Star from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.