Humanities › Literature Quotes From the Classic Novel 'Black Boy' Share Flipboard Email Print Hulton Archive / Getty Images Literature Quotations Funny Quotes Love Quotes Great Lines from Movies and Television Quotations For Holidays Best Sellers Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Shakespeare Short Stories Children's Books By Esther Lombardi Literature Expert M.A., English Literature, California State University - Sacramento B.A., English, California State University - Sacramento Esther Lombardi, M.A., is a journalist who has covered books and literature for over twenty years. our editorial process Esther Lombardi Updated August 15, 2019 "Black Boy" by Richard Wright was first published in 1945. This autobiographical novel was a bestseller, and it is an important 20th-century work of literature. Another famous novel by Richard Wright, "Native Son," was published in 1940. Here are a few quotes from "Black Boy." "Black Boy Quotes "The faint cool kiss of sensuality when dew came onto my cheeks and shins as I ran down the wet green garden paths in the early morning." "I'm hungry now, but I won't live with you." "I'm doing all I can," "When you get through, kiss back there." "White, red and black," but quickly tells him to hush, saying, "They'll call you a colored man when you grow up. Do you mind, Mr. Wright?" "You can't eat a dead dog, can you?" "If I kissed my elbow, I would turn into a girl." "At the age of twelve, before I had had one full year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering." "I said to myself, that boy just doesn't know what he's doing..." "The naked will of power seemed always to walk in the wake of a hymn." "You ought to know God through some church." "Even if that isn't right, it's not far wrong." "I never saw a dog bite that could really hurt..." "the principal's speech is the better speech." "My ass is tough and quarters is scarce." "This was the culture from which i sprang. This was the terror from which I fled." "Color hate defined the place of black life as below that of white life..." "Having been thrust out of the world because of my race, I had accepted my destiny by not being curious about what shaped it." "Trying to please everybody, I pleased nobody..." "We must have a purge." "You lost people!" "I lived in the South and I never saw any chain gangs." "Get out of our ranks!" "I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger of life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human."