Rolland's Black Like Me

1870 Words8 Pages
“Rolland!” Mrs. Peterson, the teacher, shouted as she threw the eraser at him. She missed him by an inch. Rolland Brown jumped as it went by his head. He was reading a comic book hidden within his textbook. Normally, he can tell when it is his turn to read—but not this time. Dropping the comic book, he stood, quickly read the assigned paragraph, and sat back down. He saw Mrs. Peterson looking at him sternly. Mrs. Peterson was a black teacher very active in the NAACP. She takes her job of teaching seriously, not just for black students, but also for all students. At the end of the class, Mrs. Peterson dismissed everyone except Rolland. All through grade school, Rolland got Ds and Fs in every subject except reading and math. He simply lacked…show more content…
“Instead, I want you to read this book and tell me about it tomorrow. Think you can do that?” “Yes ma’am", Rolland said as he took the book from her. The title was Black Like Me by a white author, John Howard Griffin, published nineteen sixty-one. As Rolland sifted through the pages, he saw that the book was a real life account of the experiences of the author who temporarily transformed himself into a Negro for six long intense weeks to experience personally the black man’s oppression and exploitation. Rolland had never heard of a book like this before. He looked forward to reading it. He took the comic book out of his textbook and threw it in the trashcan. Upon arriving home, Rolland immediately began to read the book. He did not stop until he got to the end. The book developed as an autobiographical diary, recounting almost on a day-to-day basis the author’s multiple experiences as a Negro, his personal encounters with the good, the bad, and the ugly. How he was, denied the basics necessities of life such as food, water, shelter, and toilet facilities. In this state, Griffin was confused by hatred and fear, realizing his identity as a Negro was defined by the white man‘s use and pleasure. Why did this motivate Rolland to change his…show more content…
Peterson was speaking about the plot of the black man. He could see himself in that setting if he were to continue pretending he had a leaning disability. He finished reading the book and lie down on his bed. He thought hard about what Mrs. Peterson had said. A little later, he got up, went to his closet, and put all of his comic books, which he had been saving for the last six years, into eight boxes. He then carried the boxes outside, put them in the open BBQ pit, and set them on fire. His days of insouciance are now behind him. As he watched the boxes burn, he made a vow that he would get a good education and a good job. Early the next day, Mrs. Peterson met with Rolland’s other teachers and they also agreed that Rolland did not belong at that school. Thus, hey devised a study plan for him to follow and implemented it immediately. While his classmates received third grade material, he received the special subjects necessary to prepare him for the upcoming assessment test. Rolland kept his promise, studied hard, and read all the books his teachers gave him. He completed all the assignments and turned in all his homework. To his surprise, he found that he really enjoyed
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