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Homework: book review: Black Boy, Richard Wright (autobiography)



a) Copy 10 words or idioms in their sentences, underline them. Translate them + explain them in English.



1. -Sentence: I was still frightened and the other children had to tell the teacher my name and address. I sat listening to the other children recite, but could not open my mouth.

-Translation: Ik was nog altijd bang en de andere kinderen moesten mijn naam en adres aan de leerkracht vertellen. Ik luisterde naar de andere kinderen die het opnoemde, maar ik kon mijn eigen mond niet opendoen.

-Explanation: to recite: -> voordragen, opzeggen, opnoemen.

-> Say aloud what the teacher has asked the

children to learn.



2. -Sentence: I was so eager to go that when I stood in the hall I did not even think of saying good-by to the boys and girls with whom I had eaten and slept and lived for so many weeks.

-Translation: Ik was zo enthousiast om naar huis te gaan, dat wanneer ik in de hal stond er zelfs niet aan dacht om afscheid te nemen van de jongens en meisje waarmee ik de afgelopen weken samen at, sliep en leefde.

-Explanation: eager: -> enthousiast.

-> You’re eager when you want something very

much.



3. -Sentence: If the white boys came to our side of the roundhouse we stoned them, and if we happened to find ourselves on their side we were stoned by them.

-Translation: Als de blanke jongens op ons deel van de stelplaats kwamen, gooiden we stenen naar hen, en als het gebeurde dat wij op hun deel kwamen, werden wij ook gestenigd door hen.

-Explanation: a roundhouse: -> a building for locomotives.

-> Stelplaats.



4. -Sentence: Night and day I could hear groans from her room.

-Translation: Elke dag en nacht hoorde ik gekreun vanuit haar kamer.

-Explanation: groans: -> kreunen, gekreun.

-> Deep sounds of one in pain.



5. -Sentense: I walked into the yard and saw a barrow full of new bricks.

-Translation: Ik wandelde naar de tuin en zag een kruiwagen met nieuwe stenen.

-Explanation: a barrow: -> kruiwagen.

-> Something to help you carry the bricks.



6. -Sentence: Uncle Tom didn’t like the story and aunt Addie said it was a sin to use the words I had put in it.

-Translation: Oom Tom vond het geen goed verhaal en tante Addie zei dat het een zonde was om de woorden te gebruiken die ik er had ingezet.

-Explanation: a sin: -> een zonde.

-> A shame.



7.-Sentense: One day I had a puncture on my way back.

-Translation: Op een dag had ik op de terugweg een lekke band.

-Explanation: a puncture: -> prik, gaatje, lek in een fietsband



8. -Sentence: My mother fell ill and food became a problem.

-Translation: Mijn moeder werd ziek en voedsel werd een probleem.

-Explanation: to fall ill: -> ziek worden.

-> To become sick.





9.-Sentense: She took the matter up with her husband.

-Translation: Ze had het erover met haar man.

-Explanation: to take the matter up: -> het erover hebben.

-> To talk about it.



10.-Sentence: One cold morning my mother called me and told me that, because there was no coal in the house, she was taking my brother with her and that I must stay in bed until the coal she ordered was brought to the house.

-Translation: Op een koude morgen maakte mijn moeder mij wakker en vertelde me dat, omdat er geen steenkool in huis was, ze mijn broer ging meenemen en dat ik in bed moest blijven totdat de steenkool, die ze besteld had, aan huis gebracht werd.



-Explanation: coal: -> kool, steenkool

-> Black mineral that burns and gives off heat.





b) Summarize the booklet into some 20 lines.



In "Black Boy", Richard Wright tells the story of his early life in the southern states of the USA in the 1920s.



Richard Wright was a smart black boy who lived with his parents and his brother as poor Americans. When he was young, his father left the house. From that moment they became very poor. They didn’t have enough money to buy food or to pay the rent and that’s why his mother put them in an orphan home.



A few weeks later their mother decided to pick up her children and to move to her sister (Aunt Maggie) and her brother-in-law (Uncle Hoskins) in Elaine, Arkansas and to visit Granny in Jackson Mississippi.

A couple weeks later a tall black boy told them that Uncle Hoskins has been shot in the saloon where he worked. So they moved back home where Richard and his brother could go to school again, because their mother had found a job that paid very well.



After a long time their mother became to ill to work, so Richard stopped school and began to do chores in the neighbours’ houses. A lot of family members came to help.

When their mother became even more sick than she was before, Richard and his brother moved to different aunts and uncles. Aunt Maggie took his brother to Detroit and he chose to go with uncle Clark in Greenwoud, because that was only a few miles away from Jackson, where his mother was.



He went to school there and was very happy, until a men came over and told him, his son died in Richard’s bed. He couldn’t sleep anymore and wanted to go home, to his mother.



Richard went back to school where Aunt Addie was his teacher. From the first day they were bitter enemies. He always got punished or beaten for doing nothing and she was always angry with him. After an accident he changed schools.



After a long time, when he was old enough, he decided to leave his family and to go to Memphis. He got a job in a factory.

Mr. Olin, the white foreman under whom he worked, was trying to make Richard and his friend kill each other, because the white men liked to see niggers fight. But they decided not to fight. But after they heard they got paid for it, they agreed on having a fake fight.



During the winter his mother, his brother and his aunt Addie came over.

They decided to move to the north, but they didn’t have enough money to all go together that’s why Richard and Aunt Addie went first and a year later, his mother and his brother came too.



So finally his wish came true.
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