Customer Reviews for

Black Like Me (50th Anniversary Edition)

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 85 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    a MUST read!

    Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin, is a book about a young white journalist, living as an African American man in the deep south during the winter of 1959. Using medication to darken his skin, Griffin crosses the segregation line between African Americans and Whites. In an effort to understand the struggles of the African American race during the height of racism, Griffin's physical transformation allowed him to experience the life of the loathed, "unequal" African American man in a way that was truly authentic. Throughout his journey he encountered multiple situations where serious racism and segregation took hold. Situations such as being denied access to bathrooms in restaurants, receiving "hate stares" when asking for change from a cashier, or even African Americans being lynched because of their skin color. Despite these ugly episodes, he also met many people who showed courtesies to African Americans. These people who helped him along his journey provided good evidence to the true inner feelings of both African Americans and Whites. Within the six week time period as an African American citizen, he sees the true horrors of their lifestyle. African American men, women, and children were denied even the most basic privileges and rights afforded to the White citizen. When the experience became too harsh for him, when he realized the freedom and equality that America represents was nonexistent to any citizen of color, he goes back to his white skin and views the world in a completely different way. Reading this book will help people understand the time period when racism and segregation were at its extreme. I feel the major theme of the book is that all Americans deserve the rights and freedoms that our nation embraces no matter what their skin color. It spotlights the errors of judging a person by looks instead of character and the civic tragedy of an elitist race. I enjoyed this book because it really opened my eyes. It helped me understand and appreciate the way of life of African American people fifty years ago. I also liked the book because it created good imagery by using strong diction, similes, metaphors and dialogue. The only thing I did not like about this book was that it showed me how brutal and prejudice a lot of America was during this time period. I recommend this book because it's a good representation of a dark part of our history that will pull on your heart strings and keep you reading until the end. Further more, it helps you see the social progress America has made and the progress that still must be made to achieve human equality for all of its citizens. I rate this a five star book because it's emotionally engaging, and will leave you with a unique understanding of the inner-racial relationships between African Americans and Whites during one of our nation's most socially conflicted times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2010

    A Look from a Different View

    Black Like Me was an outstanding book about the diary of a man who literally turns his skin from white to black. He takes his new appearance and goes into the deep South to see what it's like to be an African-American in the South in the late 1950's. John Howard Griffin uses captivating detail and diction to set the scene of the deep South and the lives of the African-American struggles. Griffin's doctor, who helped him dye his skin, said one of the key phrases in the book that really caught my attention: "Now you go into the oblivion." The meaning of the phrase was telling Griffin that he is now going to explore the unknown, and it has a high potential of becoming dangerous. John Griffin lived as a African-American in the South for months and started to have the thought that he truly was an African-American; he lived like one during that time period, was treated like one by the whites, but most importantly, saw first hand the issues and racism between the blacks and whites. During his "research" period, he learned that the racism towards the black was not only because of the color of their skin, but they were thought to have bad souls and based themselves on sex. The major message of this book is quite simple: don't judge someone by the color of his or her skin, but by the true character of that person. Stepping into the shoes of another person and looking at life from their point of view is hard to do and hard to understand but the perspectives of other people can also open your eyes to new perspectives. This book was very emotional and becomes very hard to put down once you pick it up! Black like Me is a book that I would highly recommend for it is a book that goes back to a very difficult time for blacks and explains the hardships, the friendships and the views of a white man disguised as a black man. In that time period, not many whites considered the lives of black and John Howard Griffin is one of those few. His mission is to see the issues between the two races and hopefully find a solution. A recommended work similar to this amazing book is Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown. It is very touching and has a related theme of Black like Me. I highly recommend both books for people who like to read of the hardships of the lives of blacks and how some work very hard to reach a successful future.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Feel like a black back in the time

    This book has made such a difference in my perspective of black culture. The originality of the idea pools you in a way that you want to finish the book in one reading. Feelings and emotions are expressed in a psycho-social manner and you feel as if you are in 50s 60s and experience everything that a black person could possibly go trough. You also get a chance to learn about how interracial interactions were affected by the reactions of the majority of the population. Griffin's incredible idea of turning into a black person and observing and sharing his observations later becomes an amazing learning experience for those who want to learn about the hard times and understand the difficulties of the time that the book was written.

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  • Posted November 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Black Like Me

    John Howard Griffin's book Black Like Me is excellent excellent excellent. I read this book and got an A on a final test for Communications class and it was well worth the reading. I have read it several times since and it is just as excellent as the first time I read the book. It must have been quite an experience to have gone and lived in the Deep South and experience all that John Howard Griffin experienced. Fantastic reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2006

    It was great

    Black like me, I think is one of the best book I have red because this auther John Howard Griffin experience by it self and proves that segregation will exits no matter what era is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2005

    Great Book

    I gave this book 5 stars because it's a true story. It's very detailed and it's very interesting. I would recommmend this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2005

    Gripping; hard to put this one down...

    I read this book about 25 years ago, and am now recommending it to my son. I loved this book for its honesty; Griffin doesn't spare the reader many details, and it gives a fascinating look at ourselves and each other that is an important part of American history. However, it is important to note that the author does not presume to know or understand fully what it is like to be a black man in the south in 1959 because he neither grew up under the conditions he describes, nor did he face the prospect of staying there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    an awesome adventure

    This book is really makes you become like you are part of the story, its really cool it just shows how prejudice is such a problem in this country and how it needs to be stopped. this is a really really good book once you pick it up you cant stop reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2004


    A real novel that shows the life of a black person in this time period and shows white men how lucky they are to be born white in America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    Eye opening

    In a society that likes to pretend that racism is either long gone or to big and touchy a topic to be talked about, few have touched the core of the issue like this author. You are molded in so many ways by the minds and thoughts of those that you deal with on a day to day basis and this book forces you to look at the people that suround you and seach out their internal thoughts and the overall effect that this has on you. Do you always act the way you really think, or are you guilty of occasionally allowing your actions to be dictated by a hundred years of previous thought by other people? This book is excellently written and unsettling in it's urgency that gets into your mind and leaves you contemplating questions you didn't know existed to you on the fundamental issue of humanity as a whole.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2004

    Griffin challenges deep-set predjudices

    I have never been more aware of my skin color than immediatley after reading 'Black Like Me'. This book eloquently challanges the idea that people are different (or that people are 'treated the same') based on something as easy to change as skin color. I strongly reccomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2004

    Like Black?

    Being a white woman living for the most part in the North, I find it both interesting,humbling and sad that the human race is so, well, Stupid! I give all the credit in the world to Mr.Griffin living and walking in anothers shoes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2004

    Excellent study on Race Relations in America

    Even though this book was written a long time ago, and way before I was born, a lot of it still applies to society today. John Howard Griffin made a bold and necessary move into finding out what brews beneath the surface in racially charged environments and tells both the story from both sides. More people should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    A Great Book Which Can Be Used To Silence All Racists

    I read Black Like Me and was frankly surprised. The fact that John Howard Griffin, a WHITE man actually exposed the truth and even faced death for his work, is quite courageous and fair. I applaud this book and I believe that Griffin's book should be read by everyone who wants to know the truth about how Blacks were treated in the Deep South during Segregation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2003

    What I didn't want to hear expect what i needed to hear?

    I subconsciencely went in to the book as a nothing more then as semi-racist (never had much contact with African Americans so i reserved some judgement). I of course thought it would be another worthless school assignment for a social justice course. Fortunately I heard in this book exactly what I didn't want to hear. Black people are just like white people!!! Definate recommendation from someone who doesn't care about social justice. Up until a couple days ago i didn't. Now i feel a little more in touch with what's really going on except it's semidated due to the end of legalized segregation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2002

    A Contriversial book (that isn't)

    Hi!! I am 13 years old and I am very glad my teacher told me about this book because when i read this book I was told that since I am a African- American I might find some of the material in the book offensive i didn't find anything in this book offensive. While I was reading this book I would forget he was a white man but he would have a very good way with words and I enjoyed this book very much. You should read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2002


    I have never heard of this book but when telling others that I was reading it, it seemed like I was the only one on the planet who didn't know anything about this author. I would have loved to have seen him in person in both black and white. The book was a page turner and I really respected his views. I always respect a person who doesn't write books off of statistics and will go out of his way for personal experience...and ma-an, did he go out of his way!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2002


    I'm only 15 but i think i understood the book well enough to say anyone interested in African-American books,read this one. I was always interested in racism topics because they teach you alot about life(at least thats how i look at it). I bought the book and read it every chance i could. I couldn't put it down until the end. What John Howard Griffin did was extrodinary and extremely brave of his part. To risk your life and the life of your close ones just to really feel the suffering of others like he did to me is heroic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2002

    One of the most Memorable Books I've ever read!!!

    I am so happy to discover this book is still in print and has a high sales ranking. I read this book when I was a very young freshman attending Colorado State College in 1961!!! After I had read the book, my roommate and I had the opportunity of seeing the white author, Mr. John Howard Griffin, speak in our gym about his experience darkening his skin and travelling throughout the south masquerading as a BLACK MAN! Mr. Griffin eloquently spoke of experiences that were left out of the book! And there was not a dry eye in the audience which consisted of black, white, and Asian students. I am so happy I had the wonderful experience of reading the book and hearing Mr. Griffin. This book should be on every high school reading list!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2002

    An insperational book

    I'm a young reader but this book touched me. I knew there was racisem in the world just hearing it in this way was really inspiring.

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