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Life Exposed In John Griffin's Black Like Me

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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). This seems like a simple procedure, but it was effective none the less. And it was permanent as I had thought when I started reading. Towards the end of his social experiment, when he stopped taking the pills, he was able to transition back as a white man (122 – 124). I was also shock to find out that some blacks lived in shacks out in the swamps of Alabama. Griffin came across such a family who lived in suck conditions but offered to…show more content…
Racism showed in many different forms during Griffin social experiment. There was the hate stare, which Griffin described as, “You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light (52).” Another form was that blacks were denied the same basic privileges as whites, which Griffin encountered multiple times on his journey. Blacks were denied: jobs (38, 99 – 101), goods and services (49), and bathrooms (60 – 62, 85 – 86). And another form of racism is ignorance. This form of racism can be both intentional and unintentional, which is why I think it is probably the most used for of racism. It showed in the Southern newspapers that wrote about what the whites wanted to hear (73 – 76). It even showed through people who had good intentions (128 – 130,
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