Richard Wright: 12 Million Black Voices (1818 words)


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In the summer of 1940, while Native Son was still on the best-seller lists, Richard Wright turned to a project that would describe the cultures of the two geographical settings that defined his literary career. Viking Press, probably in a hurry to publish anything with Wright’s name on it, asked the newly famous writer to produce a text to accompany a book of photographs that captured stark realities of black American life in the urban world of the North, and in the rural agrarian South.

Though the publisher requested only about 20 pages of explanatory text, Wright became fascinated with the book’s visual content, which consisted of 147 compelling images selected by Edwin Rosskam from the archives of the …

Citation: Chura, Patrick. "12 Million Black Voices". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2020 [, accessed 23 September 2021.]

28595 12 Million Black Voices 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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