Theatre next venue for Wright talk

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A stage. An auditorium. Atmosphere. Anticipatory audience. A podium . . . and a little book you are strongly encouraged to read.

From 1 to 3 p.m., on April 21 at the Natchez Little Theatre, 319 Linton Avenue, the fourth discussion group for the year long Richard Wright readings meets. The April book is Black Boy (New York: Harper, 1945). It is on reserve for you at The Judge George W. Armstrong Library in Natchez. You’re getting this early notice because this work is one of his most renowned and the session is destined to be stimulating.

Black Boy is autobiographical. It describes Wright’s early life in Roxie, Mississippi, on to Chicago and details his clashes with his Seventh-day Adventist family, his difficulties with white employers and his social isolation. The material is surely fruit for lively and meaningful debate and discussion.

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You know, unless we (the people) are involved in academe by way of staff, student or faculty, or we indeed are artists or work in the arts, we can pretty much get caught in our day to day activities and do precious little about challenging ourselves to think, question the world around us or dissect what went down before us. I’m right about that, am I not? Maybe not. I just know it’s true for me, and I’m one of you.

These monthly sessions celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of Richard Wright’s birth in 1908, near Roxie, Mississippi. Dr. Jerry Ward, Professor of English and African World Studies, Dillard University in New Orleans, is discussion leader.

While we’re here, mark your calendar for May 5, 2007 for the session following this one. It’ll be at Natchez High. More news on that one next month.

Meantime, head to 220 S. Commerce in Natchez and get your copy of Black Boy. See you April 21st. Somebody’ll leave the light on for you.

Jack Kelly is a Natchez resident.