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An absolutely amazing true story -- one that may be hard to believe for anyone born after 1970 -- but an important piece of U.S. history and a must-read for anyone who believes in fairness and justice. Parts of this book may seem unlikely or even naive to the 21st century reader, but it's all true, and we dare not forget what our society has (hopefully) overcome in the last half century.
Brave, chilling, and honest. When John Howard Griffin sets out to discover the truth about racism in the deep south in the late 50's, the results of his daring experiment would become a literary sensation around the world. As you read, you can't help but wonder what the results of such an experiment would be today. While there can be no doubt we've made great progress in the last 50 years, this book also serves as a reminder that we've still got a long way to go. A great read for today, and a great reminder of who we were as a people half a century ago. I strongly recommend it.
This book was amazing, especially since it is real. I study sociology but Black Like Me should be required reading for everyone. It would be even more amazing if someone were to do a follow-up to see what things are like now but John Howard Griffin's work is just as powerful today as it was when his pen first hit the page.
A true story.In the 60's a white man used a medical preparation that darkened his skin and made him appear black. This book is the narrative of his experiences as a black man in the segregated 60's. A real eye opener.
On my TBR for years, I have just now finished ths book.. Why did I choose to read it now? Because I wanted to understand some of the impetus behind today's Black Lives Matter movement. I realize that the movement encompasses all people of color in our country.
Nevertheless, the experiences of this writer in his quest to learn more about the lives of black Americans during the 1960s is a reminder of two facts. First, that many strides have been made since that time and second, that one of the greatest limitations to black equality is still voter suppression. We saw that in both of the past presidential elections. For this one, postal drop boxes were removed and efforts to slow and disqualify absentee ballots was rampant.
The author quotes Plato on page 34: ââ¦it is by justice that we can authentically measure man's value or his nullityâ¦the absence of justice is the absence of what makes him a man.â Or, in other words he rephrases: âhe who is less than just is less than man.â Of course, this applies to women as well for they are making strides, both positive and negative, regarding our democratic way of life.
As I read this book, I thought of encounters I have had with others, both people of color and white. Where I went to college the only people of color I met were of Chinese descent. As I pursued other degrees, I met black Americans and attended a black fraternity dance where I was the only white person present. I was treated courteously but began to understand how a minority feels. As time went on I met students from India, Nigeria, and worked with Native Americans and others. I saw a white woman who employed a Native American to work her yard say, âHe should be glad to have a job.â I knew that woman would pay as little as she could, too.
Am I without prejudice? Probably not but I have great respect and admiration for people of color. As Griffith discovers, they have been belittled and held down in life in far too many ways. He experienced first hand when he colored his skin how white people of that time treated African Americans. The resulting media interviews and writings affected him and his family greatly. His parents were harassed tso much that they moved to Mexico. He and his family soon followed so his children could grow up without harassment. Now I can't help but ask: How much has our society changed? We have individuals who harass others so much that they fear for their lives. Some of them live next to us
Powerful, fascinating. I first read this as a teenager. Still relevant today, especially for people who liked "Nickeled and Dimed in America," "Fast Food Nation," and other first-person research/social commentary books.
Somehow my high school education never included this book as assigned reading; my loss. So when I saw news that the 50th anniversary edition was out, I thought that it was time to expand my education. What a book! The risks that the author took had me shaking my head and made me fearful in reading some parts of the book. On the other hand, his portrayal of the generosity and kindness displayed by some of the people he encounters gives one hope for humanity. Highly recommended!