Black Like Me Meaning

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Book titles can play a significant role in understanding the overall concept of a story. For instance, the novel Black Like Me, written by John Howard Griffin, is based on the author’s real life attempt to learn about racial inequalities that occurred in the South. To do so, Griffin transforms from a respected white to a black who knew nothing about surviving in the South. Even though the title is a mere three words long, the words withhold a strong meaning. The title of Griffin's book reflects personal feelings throughout the novel, sets the mood by giving a denotative and connotative meaning of the word black, and also hints to how people are going to react to the novel. John Howard Griffin purposely titled the novel “Black Like Me” because of the way it portrays his personal feelings and thoughts as a black man. In the middle of the novel Griffin references to the remark, “Learned behavior patterns so deeply engrained they produce unconscious involuntary reactions” (Griffin 68). Griffin began to feel connections to society as a black person and no longer as a white. Griffin uses the title to link back to those feelings of being “Black Like Me”. The title is significant in helping readers capture Griffins true emotions in his transformation. While the title…show more content…
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
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