John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me

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The crowd cheered and roared when these words were delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. during his iconic Washington march speech in 1969. This was the time when America found itself torn apart in the racial conflicts. During the Civil Rights Movement, it was evident that not only black Americans but also many white Americans opposed the African American oppression. One such personality was John Howard Griffin, a Texan Journalist who documented his experiment of experiencing life as a ‘negro’ by deliberately turning his skin black through pigmentation and other medical procedures. The product that emerged out of his experiment is a book called Black Like Me. Griffin’s journal successfully paints a picture of the racial injustice, segregation and how empathy survives even in the midst of most stirred up situations. In this Research paper, I will try to analyze the book from the point of view of social…show more content…
This is termed as internalized racism. Unlike Sterling Williams who believed that unity among black people is necessary in order to raise a voice against the white tyranny, Christophe believed that white people were indeed a superior race and black people deserved the treatment that they were getting. He stereotyped blacks as filthy, uneducated, ill-mannered etc. According to Watts-Jones internalized racism in African American people involves two levels of shame: the shame associated with African traits and the shame of slavery and racism associated with those traits (2002.) This led Christophe into believing that he was not one of them and he felt the need to specify the origins of his mother and father in order to justify that he was not African. Additionally he dressed more elegantly and used snippets from other languages such as German and Latin to project that he is more knowledgeable than other black
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