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Richard Wright: Examining Portraiture

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Language Arts And English +3

This teacher's guide provides portraits and analysis questions to enrich students' examination of Richard Wright, an American author whose works investigate the toll that racial prejudice exerted on society. Includes the video "Defining Portraiture: How are portraits both fact and fiction?" and the National Portrait Gallery's "Reading" Portraiture Guide for Educators, both of which provide suggestions and questions for analyzing portraiture.  

Consider:

  • What do these portraits have in common? How are they different?
  • How are these portraits both fact and fiction?
  • How do these portraits reflect how they wanted to be seen, or how others wanted them to be seen? Consider for what purpose these portraits were created (such as the stamp, etc.).
  • Having read one of his stories, does the portrait capture your image of Richard Wright? Why, or why not?
  • If you were creating your own portrait of Richard Wright, what characteristics would you emphasize, and why?

Keywords: mississippi, ms, writer, native son