THE LONG DREAM
Native Son in 1940, Black Boy in 1945 -- and now The Long Dream! Taken together they reveal the tragic portrait of the Negro's source of fear and hate in relation to the white man of the Deep South. There was Bigger, who killed a white man, in Native Son; there was the story of a boy growing up in the South- and escaping to false visions of security in Chicago, in Black Boy. And here is the story of Fishbelly, who lived with fear and nourished hate, instilled by his knowledge of his father's two-faced attitude- subservience when encountering the white overlords, trickiness behind their backs, as he worked and bribed his way into riches based on "houses" supported by the handouts to the police. But fate in the form of fire caught up with him; and finally it was Tyree, Fish's father, who was tricked- ambushed to his death. Fish was doomed. He had to lie and cheat; he even had to serve two years' jail sentence, without trial, before he was sprung. And in all that time, he found only one white man he trusted. No wonder he escaped to France- and the long dream of equality his buddy Zeke held out to him. It is a powerful indictment, this, tragic and unrelieved, holding nothing of hope. It is crude and violent and bitter. It offers no solutions -- and makes no bid for pity. It just states the case. Whether the public will read it or not remains to be seen. Richard Wright says what he has to say, without fear or favor.