The Man Who Lived Underground
by Richard Wright
Fun to read a short story for a change… this one, The Man Who Lived Underground, is contained in the book Eight Men by Richard Wight. Set in the 1940’s, a young black man, Fred Daniels, is forced, while under attack by three policemen, to sign a confession saying he was guilty of murdering a woman. He escapes into the sewer system and sets off on a number of adventures, which eventually lead him back to the police station, bringing himself face-to-face with the men who held him and brutally beat him into submission. The man is looking to find reality in an unreal world full of racism, poverty, and inequality…similar to what we still find today in society. And seeing that Wright’s work from over eighty years ago is still appearing in today’s world is more than a tragedy! A somber view for us all to grapple with each day we live.