Expository Essay: Black Like Me By John Howard Griffin

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Dean Cabrera Mrs. Thunell English II Honors 3 October 2014 Expository Essay: Black Like Me John Howard Griffin wants to know what it is like being an African American. John Howard Griffin is a white man dedicated to racial justice and will do anything to understand the life of a black man. He goes through medical treatment to change his skin color so he appears as an African American. Throughout the story, Griffin is cruelly treated by everyone around him. The major themes in this story are racism, judgment, and dedication. Racism plays a big role in the plot. Griffin is given unfair treatment and his life all of a sudden, becomes extremely limited. He predicted that the racism towards blacks would be cruel, but he noticed that…show more content…
Racism had affected all African Americans and Griffin had seen it at its worst. As soon as he begins his new life as a black man, Griffin is quickly judged upon and hated. Even though he is a well-educated man who wants to find a decent job, his skin color changes everything that people think about him. They do not care how smart he is or what his personality may be like, they completely dislike him because he is black. Griffin talks about his thoughts of people using racial slurs explaining that “the word ‘nigger’ leaps out with electric clarity. You always hear it and it always stings” (Griffin 21). He knows that the people who call out to him using that language do not know what they’re talking about, because they do not know who he completely is. Everyone is judging him out of his looks. When Griffin decides to stop taking his medication so he is white again, his life is flipped in reverse. Black people look at him suspiciously while whites treat him with respect. His personality did not matter; it was his skin color that changed the way people looked at him. Griffin is completely dedicated to racial justice. He goes through a transformation
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