Black Like Me By John Howard Griffin: An Analysis

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Can a white man really understand what it’s like being black by just changing their skin color? In the book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, a white man tries to empathize with the black race. Griffin never truly empathized with the black race because he didn’t have to live as a black person his whole life he had family and a job to go home to once the experiment was over. Griffin “decided he would do this” (Griffin 1). to be able to better understand what it was like to be discriminated because of his race. Griffin is told that’s it’s a crazy idea after he told his friend, Levitan about his “project” (Griffin 2). Griffin says that this is a project, he is becoming a different race for work. He acts like if he weren’t dealing with becoming a total different race. When Griffin first became black he said, “the completeness of this transformation appalled me” (Griffin 11). The fact that griffin had become a different race and was appalled made it seem like this was all for a joke and he never truly wanted to empathize with the black race. …show more content…

Griffin should have taken the opportunity to accidently walk into the white’s bathroom and would have been able to experience what it was like to be yelled at for an accident instead he asked another black person where he should go. Griffin doesn’t take full advantages of the opportunities to be able to understand more about the race. Another opportunity griffin passed by that would have helped him embody a black person was when he was told “‘You’d better find yourself someplace else to rest’” (Griffin 43). Griffin could have peacefully protested and refused to move because he later discovered that negros had the right to sit in Jackson

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