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Black Like Me (50th Anniversary Edition) by…
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Black Like Me (50th Anniversary Edition) (original 1960; edition 2010)

by John Howard Griffin, Robert Bonazzi (Afterword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,692702,578 (3.98)101
Publisher's description: Studs Terkel tells us in his Foreword to the definitive Griffin Estate Edition of Black Like Me: "This is a contemporary book, you bet." Indeed, Black Like Me remains required reading in thousands of high schools and colleges for this very reason. Regardless of how much progress has been made in eliminating outright racism from American life, Black Like Me endures as a great human and humanitarian document. In our era, when "international" terrorism is most often defined in terms of a single ethnic designation and a single religion, we need to be reminded that America has been blinded by fear and racial intolerance before. As John Lennon wrote, "Living is easy with eyes closed." Black Like Me is the story of a man who opened his eyes, and helped an entire nation to do likewise.… (more)
Member:Lkraustx
Title:Black Like Me (50th Anniversary Edition)
Authors:John Howard Griffin
Other authors:Robert Bonazzi (Afterword)
Info:Signet (2010), Edition: 50 Anv, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (1960)

  1. 10
    The magnolia jungle; the life, times, and education of a southern editor by P. D. East (Cecrow)
  2. 10
    Lowest of the Low 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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» See also 101 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
In the Deep South of the 1950’s, 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. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity every American must read.
  CovenantPresMadison | Aug 26, 2021 |
Powerful insight into what it's like to be black in America. Was very helpful in starting to move me from the attitudes (prejudices) I had grown up with. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
nonfiction / memoirs (race & relations)--on audio, read by Lee Childs. As sociological experiments go, this was a doozy (and probably a valuable contribution to the discussion at the time?) but I'm not overly comfortable with the deep level of understanding of the black condition assumed by Griffin after just a month or two of living as one (and his subsequently taking the position of spokesperson for an entire race). Still, with all the conversations and first-hand experiences he's had, he would be much more knowledgeable than the average non-black person. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Black Like Me tells the story of a famous social experiment: in 1959, with Jim Crow laws still in effect, a white writer manages to darken his skin and travel throughout the Deep South as a black man. As such he encounters both irrational prejudice and the occasional kindness, but much more of the former than the latter. If Griffin is exactly the same person on the inside, whether his skin is white or black, why should such a superficial characteristic dictate how others treat him?

This exposé is a fascinating study in the sociology and psychology of racism. I was surprised at the ease with which Griffin was able to adopt a black persona and wonder why no one saw through his disguise. Although some commenters have called this narrative dated, I found that unfortunately, many of Griffin’s observations (especially regarding the thought processes of white supremacists) still hold true today. ( )
  akblanchard | Feb 3, 2021 |
"The negro. The South. These are the details. The real story is the universal one of men who destroy the souls and bodies of other men (and in the process destroy themselves) for reasons neither really understands. It is the story of the persecuted, the defrauded, the feared and detested. I could have been a Jew in Germany, a Mexican in a number of states, or a member of any "inferior" group. Only the details would have differed. The story would be the same." (from the preface)
  CSUC | Jan 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
A stinging indictment of thoughtless, needless inhumanity. No one can read it without suffering.
added by ArrowStead | editThe Dallas Morning News
 
Essential reading...a social document of the first order, providing material absolutely unavailable elsewhere with such authenticity that it canot be dismissed.
added by ArrowStead | editSan Francisco Chronicle
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Howard Griffinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bonazzi, RobertAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rutledge, DonPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Terkel, StudsForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Rest at pale evening... A tall slim tree... Night coming tenderly... Black like me. --From "Dream Variation" Langston Hughes
Dedication
First words
"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."
Quotations
"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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Publisher's description: Studs Terkel tells us in his Foreword to the definitive Griffin Estate Edition of Black Like Me: "This is a contemporary book, you bet." Indeed, Black Like Me remains required reading in thousands of high schools and colleges for this very reason. Regardless of how much progress has been made in eliminating outright racism from American life, Black Like Me endures as a great human and humanitarian document. In our era, when "international" terrorism is most often defined in terms of a single ethnic designation and a single religion, we need to be reminded that America has been blinded by fear and racial intolerance before. As John Lennon wrote, "Living is easy with eyes closed." Black Like Me is the story of a man who opened his eyes, and helped an entire nation to do likewise.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Some drugs and makeup
Transform a white man to black
To learn of racism.
(yoyogod)

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