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The death that is described in the book by Richard Right "Black Boy" is the death of his friend's brother. Richard is going down the street when he sees Ned crying. He asks him what is wrong. Ned tells Richard that white men took his brother in a car to a country road and shot and killed him.
This is a big shock because it is the reality of what Richard had heard all his life. The fear of a black man dying because of a white woman. He called it the white death. Ned's brother, supposedly had become sexually involved with a white prostitute at the hotel he worked at and had been murdered because of it. For Richard, it brought home the level of imminent danger that black men were always trying to avoid with whites.