Black Boy

Aunt Maggie Character Analysis

Another of Richard’s mother’s sisters, Maggie early in the book lives in comfort in Arkansas with her husband Uncle Hoskins, a successful owner of a bar. This comfort is shattered when Hoskins is killed by whites angry at his success, and the law does nothing to respond. Later, Maggie lives in Detroit with her boyfriend named Matthews, who has escaped the South for suspicious reasons. Maggie returns to meet Richard in Memphis at the close of the memoir, and travels with him North to Chicago.
Get the entire Black Boy LitChart as a printable PDF.
Black boy.pdf.medium

Aunt Maggie Character Timeline in Black Boy

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Maggie appears in Black Boy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Richard, his brother, and his mother move in with his Aunt Maggie—his mother’s sister—and her husband, Uncle Hoskins. The house in Elaine provides Richard, for the first... (full context)
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
...bar in Elaine, and though Richard wants to visit him at work, his mother and Maggie tell Richard it’s dangerous. Richard grows close to Hoskins. One day Hoskins, on his horse... (full context)
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
...shot by an angry white man in Elaine—someone who coveted his lucrative liquor business. Although Maggie wishes to go down to the bar to find out what happened, Richard’s mother urges... (full context)
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
...brothel finds him and carries him back home, then launches into a tirade when Aunt Maggie and Richard’s mother return from their jobs (they are once again cooking for white families... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
Reading and Writing Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
At the new house, Richard becomes aware of another intrigue: namely, that his Aunt Maggie has begun seeing a new man, named “Uncle” Matthews, who appears to be a kind... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
One night, Matthews enters the house in a hurry and tells Maggie and Richard’s mother, with Richard overhearing from his bedroom, that he (Matthews) has set fire... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
The family once again needs money, as Aunt Maggie is no longer living with them and bringing home her income from cooking. Richard goes... (full context)
Chapter 3
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
...Granny can care for her in her own home. Various relatives arrive in Jackson: Aunt Maggie, who now lives in Detroit; Aunt Cleo (from Chicago); Uncles Clark, Edward, and Thomas from... (full context)
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
...be raised separately. Richard’s brother is to head north to Detroit to live with Aunt Maggie, and the uncle asks Richard where he’d like to go: Richard answers that he wants... (full context)
Chapter 14
Racism Theme Icon
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
Reading and Writing Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
Aunt Maggie also moves to Memphis, as she is looking for work (her boyfriend, that “uncle” Matthews... (full context)
Chapter 15
Racism Theme Icon
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
In 1927, Richard takes the train north to Chicago with his Aunt Maggie. He remarks on the “unreal” quality of Chicago, full of dirt, smoke, and heavy industry.... (full context)
Movement and Dislocation Theme Icon
Hunger, Illness, and Suffering Theme Icon
Christianity and “Being Saved” Theme Icon
Reading and Writing Theme Icon
Society and the Individual Theme Icon
During this time, Richard moves with his Aunt Maggie out of Aunt Cleo’s apartment. Richard’s mother and brother also move in, and they live... (full context)