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Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

Black Like Me (1960)

by John Howard Griffin

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  1. 10
    The magnolia jungle; the life, times, and education of a southern editor by P. D. East (Cecrow)
  2. 10
    Ganz unten by Günter Wallraff (edwinbcn)
    edwinbcn: Similar partcicipating observation large scale undercover operations, disclosing racism in Europe and the US, respectively. Classic studies with a huge impact.

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A profound message. Emotionally charged. It's a reality check for those who are not of color. Yes, people of color go through this, but there's a big difference between the author's experiences and actually being Black: all day, every day, the author knows the makeup will come off at the end of the day. ( )
  BonitaMartin | Jun 24, 2016 |
I found this book fascinating! I apologize to all but I purposely read it slowly. I wanted to clearly understand the words and scenarios depicted in this book. I find it fascinating that one human being would treat another this way simply because of the color of his or her skin. What I found even more interesting was the aftermath of wht John Howard Griffin had to go through after his experiment. Because of what he did, he had to invest in security for his family, his parents moved to Mexico for a better life. And yes folks, we are describing America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

So, for those of you that are not planning to read this book and in addition to the comments made by Siriradha's and Choclaholic's previous posts, this is a story about how John Howard Griffin being the bravest man on earth. He takes medication to turn himself black and then take a brief tour through the southland, Louisiana, Missisippi, Alabama and Georgia. He gets a taste of what blacks in that time period face day to day. He writes it all down. His experiences are fascinating. Most fascinating is how the young are taught prejudism(did I spell that right?)to move on to the next generation.

I guess that only time will heal all wounds and get us over the hump. I look at how things are today and although there have been improvements, we still have a long way to go. Look at today's elections for example, the candidates are looking to secure the "black" vote or in my case, the "Hispanic" vote. Why not just "All Votes" or "The Votes". I think you can take the premises of what John Howard Griffin wrote in this book and apply it to all things that separate us. Race, Religion, sexual orientation and even geographical location are factors in treating people differently. Think about it. Because of politics half the world hates us "arrogant Americans". I can just picture someone on the other side of the world formulating an opinion about me because of where I live.

What I learned from this book, is that at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter. We are all the same. The question is, how much death, how much suffering will we, as homo sapiens, have to go through to realize that we are all the same. John Howard Griffin's work begs for a number. Lets get to that number if we have to and move on to treating each other better and getting past this poor thinking. After his experience was even more chilling because he thought that predjudism was mostly located in the deep south of America. He was astonished to find out that it was not so. He was saddened that even in his own town in Texas, where he thought people would be a bit more educated, was not what he thought it was.

I would recommend this book to all. It is interesting, well written and very controversial. Most of all, the book challenges the reader to think. If you are looking for bubble gum literature, this is not it. It will give your mind a good work out!

Flyinfox ( )
  DVerdecia | Jan 29, 2016 |
Massively outdated now, but at the time considered to give true insight. One man risks his health by darkening his skin so he can try to find out what it's really like to live in a Black man's shoes. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
An amazing book! The author darkens his skin to find out what it is like to be a black man in the South in 1959. Simply amazing! I love where he wrote, "Didn't Shakespeare say something about 'every fool in error can find a passage of Scripture to back him up'? He knew his religious bigots." This seems to be Griffin's version of "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose."
-( The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Quote Act I, sce. III), but still, it is powerful either way! Also powerful, was the revelation of what it meant when some young black men would yell, "Take ten!" Wow. This book, and this author just blow me away! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Not a great choice for me. Although I don't doubt the authenticity of his experiences, I found some of the conversations he had with people to be improbable and the writing felt almost childish. It just felt staged to me but I do give him credit for bringing attention to the troubling issues this book was built around. In all fairness, the book is 55 years old and it is not the type of book that ages well.I'm sure that in its day it attracted a lot of praise. ( )
  Iudita | Oct 17, 2015 |
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Rest at pale evening... A tall slim tree... Night coming tenderly... Black like me. --From "Dream Variation" Langston Hughes
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"This may not be all of it. It may not cover all of the questions, but it is what it is like to be a Negro in a land where we keep the Negro down." - preface
"For years the idea had haunted me, and that night it returned more insistently than ever."
"The most obscene figures are not the ignorant ranting racists, but the legal minds who front for them, who invent for them the legislative proposals and the propoganda bulletins. They deliberately choose to foster distortions, always under the guise of patriotism, upon a people who have no means of checking the facts."
"He cannot understand how the white man can show the most demeaning aspects of his nature and at the same time delude himself into thinking he is inherently superior."
"I learned within a very few hours that no one was judging me by my qualities as a human individual and everyone was judging me by my pigment."
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Book description
Haiku summary
Some drugs and makeup
Transform a white man to black
To learn of racism.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451208641, Paperback)

In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line.  Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man.  His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:29 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"In the Deep South of the 1950s, a color line was etched in blood across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross that line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. What happened to John Howard Griffin-- from the outside and within himself-- as he made his way through the segregated Deep South is recorded in this searing work of nonfiction"--Back cover.… (more)

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