Black Like Me: a Cultural Book Report

Topics: Black people, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 3 (894 words) Published: October 8, 1999
John Howard Griffin was a journalist and a professional on race issues. After publication, he became a leading advocate in the Civil Rights Movement and did much to promote awareness of the racial situation sand pass legislature. He was middle aged and living in Mansfield, Texas at the time of publication in 1960. His desire to know if Southern whites were racist against the Negro population of the Deep South, or if they really judged people based on the individual's personality as they said. Because of this he felt that they had encouraged him to cross the color line and write Black Like Me.

Plot:

Black Like Me is the story of a man named John Howard Griffin, who underwent a series of medical treatments to change his skin color temporarily to black; a transformation that was complete when John Howard Griffin shaved off his hair, and looking in the mirror, saw a bald, middle-aged black man. The reason he does this is for an experiment to see how racism was in the Deep South from personal experience. From November 6th to December 14th in the early 60's, he hitchhiked, walked, and rode through Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. After three weeks in the Deep South as a black man John Howard Griffin produced a journal covering his change into the black race, his travels and experiences in the South, the shift back into white society, and the reaction of those he knew prior his experience. The book was published and released. The reaction on the society differed in great ammounts.

Characterization:

John Howard Griffin is the main character in the story. Throughout the story, this person displayed many qualities. He showed determination because he was bound and determined to become a black man so he could expose the truth about the Deep South and how racist they were. He also showed courage, for being able to pull through and do the things he did, such as become a whole new person of another race and going into dangerous territory...
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