New Student Research

October 3, 2013

By Nancy Kuhl

Julie Lowenstein, Yale College Class of 2016
written for Professor Wai Chee Dimock’s Spring 2013, English 012b

Literary Cities: New York, Chicago, San Francisco

Racialized Blindness in Native Son

An excerpt: “Bigger Thomas’s story represents a key development in black American literature. Its profound impact is illustrated by letters written by readers to Richard Wright, which are now housed in the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. This essay analyzes racialized blindness in both the black and white communities in Native Son by comparing the racial attitudes observed in the book with those expressed by readers in their mail to Wright.”

Read the whole essay: Lowenstein–Racialized Blindness in Native Son

Beinecke Collections consulted: Richard Wright Papers, JWJ MSS 3

Photograph: Richard Wright, photographed by Carl Van Vechten (used with the permission of the Van Vechten Trust; the permission of the Trust is required to reprint or use Van Vechten photographs in any way. To contact the Trust email: Van Vechten Trust.)


The Beinecke Library encourages scholars, students, and the public to engage the past in the present for the future. In the service of new scholarship, the library offers generous fellowships for visiting scholars and for graduate students to support research in a wide range of fields. Learn more about fellowship opportunities.