Teacher Guide

Native Son Lesson Plan

Introduction to Native Son

Native Son is a classic in the canon of African American literature—it was the first best-seller written by an African American, and the first popular American novel to explore racism from the side of the oppressed. It earned Richard Wright the reputation as the "father of Black American Literature." American Academic Arnold Rampersad said, "I don't know much black discourse that goes on without reference to Native Son." At the time, it was a radical exploration of the psychology of impoverished black men in America, through a character made intentionally complex and controversial. Wright himself admits that he did not want the reader, especially the white reader, to feel pity or...

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