WHITE MAN, LISTEN!, by Richard Wright
No one knows better than Richard Wright that the white man has not listened for a century, has neither plans nor intention to start listening now and probably couldn’t listen if he wanted to. The voices of Asia, Africa and the colonial world are blocked to him by an accumulation of rubbish. Wright’s book, as he says himself, is for the “Westernized” elite of the non-European world, the “lonely outsiders” existing on the margins of many cultures. Even though it consists of a collection of speeches delivered before European audiences, this book is the author talking largely to himself, about himself and for himself. It is an important book and the neglect it has met in America only emphasizes the blocking off of communication between the West—all sectors of the West—and as Wright puts it, ” … a billion and a half colored people in violent political motion.” Richard Wright tells us he is neither perturbed nor unhappy in his chosen state of “alienation”; from his lonely perch in Paris, a Paris swept by waves of “Americanization” and wasting its last energies in a futile colonial war, Wright keeps both his s...
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