How Richard Wright’s Mother and Grandmother Taught him to Revere the Imaginative

[By Kenton Rambsy] A consideration of Richard Wright’s childhood provides an opportunity for continuing to unpack the often hidden baggage associated with “self-taught” education. Wright’s maternal grandmother and mother were likely key and early contributors to the young Wright’s intellectual development.    Hazel Rowley writes in Richard Wright: The Life and Times that Wright’s mother Ella Wilson Wright was a significant figure in his educational […]

Disrupting and Expanding the Notion of “Self-Taught”

[By Kenton Rambsy] Over the past month, I have commented on the particular ways in which a number of authors provide us readers with useful information concerning their views of how African American men acquire and share knowledge. These fictional representations have led me to think about autobiographical examples, specifically the narratives of Frederick Douglass and Richard Wright and the overall tradition of education in […]

Black Men and Informal Educational Networks

[By Kenton Rambsy] Over the past two weeks, I have explored how issues related to literacy and access as central thematic concerns in books by African American writers. Here is a list of novels,  ranging from 1852-2006, mentioned so far:   Frederick Douglass’s Heroic Slave (1852) Martin Delany’s Blake; or, the Huts of America (1862) Sutton E. Griggs’s Imperium in Imperio (1899) Ishmael Reed’s Flight […]