Black Like Me: A Cultural Book Report

This essay has a total of 903 words and 5 pages.

Black Like Me: A Cultural Book Report


John Howard Griffin was a journalist and a professional on race issues. After publication,
he became a leading advocate in the Civil Rights Movement and did much to promote
awareness of the racial situation sand pass legislature. He was middle aged and living in
Mansfield, Texas at the time of publication in 1960. His desire to know if Southern whites
were racist against the Negro population of the Deep South, or if they really judged
people based on the individual's personality as they said. Because of this he felt that
they had encouraged him to cross the color line and write Black Like Me.


Plot:

Black Like Me is the story of a man named John Howard Griffin, who underwent a series of
medical treatments to change his skin color temporarily to black; a transformation that
was complete when John Howard Griffin shaved off his hair, and looking in the mirror, saw
a bald, middle-aged black man. The reason he does this is for an experiment to see how
racism was in the Deep South from personal experience. From November 6th to December 14th
in the early 60's, he hitchhiked, walked, and rode through Mississippi, Alabama,
Louisiana, and Georgia. After three weeks in the Deep South as a black man John Howard
Griffin produced a journal covering his change into the black race, his travels and
experiences in the South, the shift back into white society, and the reaction of those he
knew prior his experience. The book was published and released. The reaction on the
society differed in great ammounts.


Characterization:

John Howard Griffin is the main character in the story. Throughout the story, this person
displayed many qualities. He showed determination because he was bound and determined to
become a black man so he could expose the truth about the Deep South and how racist they
were. He also showed courage, for being able to pull through and do the things he did,
such as become a whole new person of another race and going into dangerous territory where
he knew he wasn't really welcomed. He also displayed a sense of dignity, because after he
was done with this experiment, he was threatened several times and even burned in effigy
in his hometown, but he still maintained his ground as long as he could. And last, but not
least, he showed us a sense of hope, because no matter what, even in the darkest times, he
would still keep at least a small bit of hope in him.


Cultural Insights:

The things that I've learned about white people and black people is that things aren't
always what they seem to be. A white person could be the nicest person to you at first if
Continues for 3 more pages >>