In Black Like Me, John Griffin chronicles the events during his experiment in the black South. Having lived all of his life as a white male, arguably the most privileged demographic at the time, Griffin decides to go undercover as a black man using special medication and skin darkening techniques. He develops valuable insight, but there was no way he could have come close to have fully lived as a black man in the South. However, the experiment itself was not in itself foolish. The fact that Griffin would never be able to fully live as a black man is a point that he even points out himself. While talking to a young man who had given him a ride, they discussed the so-called sexual deviancy that seemed to be much more prevalent among the black …show more content…
Griffin wanted to experience the differences between the white and black communities, a line that no one else attempted or perhaps even thought to cross. Moreover, the supposed differences seemed too large a deterrent to confront or fix. The news that someone had actually tried caused a volatile reaction amongst some outspoken white Southerners. There was a very dark period of time directly after the experiment, filled with even more distrust and racism, but it wasn’t purely due to the fact that someone had the guts to pull this off. It was the realization that everything that they had been conditioned to think or react was in fact just a shield to control the what was the “inferior” race in their eyes. Many white Southerners tried to resist the change, claiming they were only helping the black population or keeping balance by “protecting” them from what radical thinking could spring from. Thankfully later on in the century, this racist mindset was brought to light and black civil rights activists became more prominent figures as they fought for equal opportunities. A battle that had arguably happened much later than it should have, set off by the works and efforts of those like Griffin, who went against the flow of societal norms in risky experiments. So while there were flaws and mistakes in John Griffin’s experiment in Black Like Me, that same experiment helped bring the mindset of many inside and even outside of the South into a better, less deprived view of the world around them with some resistance. However, were any of those eye-opening eras in history ever without flaw or a dark
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
From this, the lives of African Americans proved to be much stronger than what was credited for. Great criticism had yet to come from and the thrive of such influential people was beginning to be acknowledged. Barriers have now been broken and the race for equality has begun. With the foundation of a newly
The Civil Rights Movement was a big part of U.S. history in the Early and mid 1900’s. Many famous leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks were heard throughout the country changing people’s opinions on blacks. Though, they weren’t the only ones who protested, Frank Bates was one of the many young protesters. He had to deal with the police, whites, and other people who bullied blacks. Frank Bates had gone through many struggles to achieve his goal.
Black Like Me is an incredible journey into what life was like in the Deep South during the late 1950s. John Griffin performed a social experiment to see what was life really like for blacks in the Southern States. John Griffin transformed himself into a black man and recorded his experiences into a book, Black Like Me. I was fascinated that 1950s science and medicine had advanced enough to allow someone to change the pigment of their skin. The procedure that Griffin underwent was simply taking pills and exposing himself to ultra violet rays (6).
In his 1915 book, The Negro in the United States, W.E.B. DuBois wrote, "There was one thing that the white South feared more than negro dishonesty, ignorance, and incompetency, and that was negro honesty, knowledge, and efficiency” (“The Negro” Par. 41). After the end of the Civil War, white southerners were faced with one of the worst nightmares coming to true: African Americans were freed from slavery, granted equal protection, and given the right to vote. As Reconstruction progressed, African Americans were confronted with significant change for the fist tim in the history of the United States. After the removal of the Federal Troops following the corrupt bargain of 1877, there was a period of relative calm in the South which was ended by the Supreme Court decision to legalize segregation in the Plessy v.
The Power of a Few Citizens America’s history is full of conflict, and also full of positive change. A prime example of this is the Civil Rights Movement. Following Reconstruction, which took place after the Civil War, Jim Crow laws and segregation rose despite efforts to achieve equality for African Americans, like the 14th and 15th Amendments (Introduction to the Civil Rights Movement). The Civil Rights Movement was a period of fighting for political, economical, social, and just about any other type of equality for African Americans. Despite extreme backlash and disapproval from white supremacist groups and racists, mainly in the South, a positive change was created, credited to the many events that took place during this time (Carson).
Segregation, oppression, and injustice are only a sliver of what African Americans experienced during the Reconstruction Era. This was a period of time to “rebuild” the United States post Civil War and emancipation proclamation (Reconstruction PowerPoint 1/7/16), but it wasn’t a community building exercise. The “rebuilding” process was arduous and did not give African Americans freedom and equality that many so adamantly believed would be a reality following WWI (1920s, WWI, Segregation PowerPoint 2/7/16). Kevin Boyle’s description of race relations during the 1920s portrays how freedom was not a reality that through migration, violence, and segregation African Americans were not free. Even though, they were free from the the cotton fields
African Americans face a struggle with racism which has been present in our country before the Civil War began in 1861. America still faces racism today however, around the 1920’s the daily life of an African American slowly began to improve. Thus, this time period was known by many, as the “Negro Fad” (O’Neill). The quality of life and freedom of African Americans that lived in the United States was constantly evolving and never completely considered ‘equal’. From being enslaved, to fighting for their freedom, African Americans were greatly changing the status quo and beginning to make their mark in the United States.
Race is one the most sensitive and controversial topics of our time. As kids, we were taught that racism has gotten better as times has passed. However, the author, Michelle Alexander, of The New Jim Crow proposes the argument that racism has not gotten better, but the form of racism that we known in textbooks is not the racism we experience today. Michelle Alexander has countless amounts of plausible arguments, but she has failed to be a credible author, since she doesn’t give enough citations or evidence for her argument to convince people who may not have prior agreement with her agreement.. Alexander’s biggest mistake when it came to being a credible author was starting off the book with a countless number of claims without any evidence in her Introduction.
The memoir of Anne Moody is the personal story of a young black woman that becomes unforgettable to its reader, shedding light on what it is like to be black in the Jim Crow south. The majority tries tirelessly to say that all this racist oppression was hundreds of years ago so there is no reason to think that any of what happened then should effect how a person of color is able to succeed today. Through powerful stories such as Anne Moody’s we can see how her family was effected long after the Civil War and so called freeing of all black people from the power of white oppression. All the way from the effects of 1896 ruling of Plessy v Ferguson to the ruling of Brown vs. Board of Education, Anne Moody provides a detailed account of how these
During and after WWI, African Americans moved north to evade the rampant racism and discrimination in the south and to seize opportunities for jobs and new land (Document G). White Americans, their oppressors, began to see African Americans as humans because of their supposedly new culture and aspirations. While they weren’t viewed as equal, it was still a start. As expected, when juxtaposing the racial climate of the 1920s and 1998, there is a great disparity. In the late 90s, a time also known for great societal change, African Americans had been given the same rights as white Americans, but not quite the same societal status.
By writing Black Like Me, John Griffin was trying to write down everything he felt was important on his journey as a black man. One of the major things wrote down was the idea of white racism. Which is the belief that white people are superior to other races and because of that should run society. So, the main topic of the novel was social divide of whites and African Americans. As a black man John saw the contempt white people had towards African Americans, and just the overall condescending attitude emanated from these people.
Black Like Me In Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, the author’s interactions and experiences with members of both the white and black races demonstrate the ideology of white supremacy in the form of whites’ expectations. While traversing through his journey as an artificial black man on November 11, 1959, John Howard Griffin finds himself in exhaustion after failing to employ himself so he takes a seat at Jackson Square Park, where a white man states that he cannot stay in the park, which Griffin takes as a favor. “Later, I told my story at the Y, and discovered that Negroes have the right to sit in Jackson Square… This individual simply did not want me there” (Griffin 43). This shows the first example of a white person bending the
When John Howard Griffin titled his book Black Like Me it lent to the idea that the book and the experiment was going to be unpleasant for many readers. While many would find the new information a valuable attempt to inform society, others would feel like it were a sin to become a black person. For example, in one part of the story someone mentions to Griffin, “They’re going to treat any Negro like a dog” (Griffin 48). Many white southerners treated blacks like dogs because they were not worth anything. Black Like Me was created to show that being black was not something to be ashamed of and that blacks were just as equal to any other
The story represents the culmination of Wright’s passionate desire to observe and reflect upon the racist world around him. Racism is so insidious that it prevents Richard from interacting normally, even with the whites who do treat him with a semblance of respect or with fellow blacks. For Richard, the true problem of racism is not simply that it exists, but that its roots in American culture are so deep it is doubtful whether these roots can be destroyed without destroying the culture itself. “It might have been that my tardiness in learning to sense white people as "white" people came from the fact that many of my relatives were "white"-looking people. My grandmother, who was white as any "white" person, had never looked "white" to me” (Wright 23).