Analysis Of Black Like Me By John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me is an autobiography written by John Howard Griffin; the book takes place during 1959, when racism and segregation were very much prominent. Griffin has it all; he is a white male with a stable job and a loving and supportive family. He was willing to leave all of that behind for some time, in order to partake in an experiment. He partnered with the founder of the Negro magazine, Sepia, George Levitan in order to meticulously achieve this experiment that required embodying a Negro and witnessing “How the other half lives”. He arrives at New Orleans to undergo his full transformation. Griffin finds a dermatologist that will assist him in changing his physical appearance to that of a Negro. Griffin is put under ultraviolet rays and…show more content…
When tying to cash a travelers check the storeowner wouldn’t take the check because he was of color and therefore considered untrustworthy. When he went to go pay for the bus ticket the teller gave him what he will always remember as the “Hate Stare” (p.53) and wouldn’t take his money because he was a man of color with a big bill. On the bus Griffin witnessed a “brother” denying his ethnicity and treating his own kind with disrespect. One of the most infuriating moments for Griffin was when the bus came to a rest stop where people were allowed to go to the bathroom and get food or drinks and when the whites were all out of the bus the bus driver wouldn’t allow the Negroes to get down. “I said, unable to believe he really meant to deprive us of rest-room privileges” (p.63). He realized that the whites observed the Negroes and believed they were jubilant and okay with their current condition, but that was all a lie they drowned their sorrows on anything that could provide them the slightest of pleasure. “ Would they see the immense melancholy that hung over the quarter, so oppressive that men had to dull their sensibilities in noise or wine or sex or gluttony in order to escape it” (p.73). In Mississippi, Negroes helped each other not like in New Orleans but racism and segregation observable. Griffin had been moving from dump to dump, he could never find a nice place to live in because he was of color. One day he took off and walked by the water and along a highway. During the day not one single person would offer him a ride, but as soon as the night started to fall suddenly everyone was available to provide transportation as if color became invisible or non-existent. “ Men would pass you in daylight but pick you up after dark” (p.90). Many of the people who picked him up were just trying to play the “Myth of Truth” game. They all asked Griffin if his sex life was as crazy as all
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