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Black Like Me

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2007

    Black history

    This is a really good book for teens on black history. Its an insight into both racial sides in 1959 from a white man named Griffin who takes the identity of a black man to see what it is like. This book is really interesting and i highly recommend it for teens to read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    An Amazing Story

    'Black Like Me' is a novel about a white journalist, John Howard Griffin, who decides to darken his skin and go undercover to live a life of an African American. As his journey progresses he realizes what it is like to treated so cruel by whites. A major theme of racism is spread throughout the novel. This story proves that whites actually were racist and treated African Americans as they were the scum of the earth. By going undercover Griffin proved that they are human and act just like whites and they are capable and worthy of being treated equally. Another theme was equality. Every experience Griffin went through, he proved that color does not mean anything. People are the same no matter what. Overall I liked reading this book because it allows the reader to learn about the perspective of a man who experienced life from two different points of view. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about racism. It is a good lesson for people to learn that every human being should be treated as an equal.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2005

    Very informative

    'Black Like Me' is a very informative book.It helped me to understand past segregation a little more. The book also helps people to know that all people in the south did not treat blacks poorly, but they did not do anything about it. John Howard Griffin crossed over the line of segregation. Though he could probably not fully grasp the concept of being an African American he tried however, he understood more than most. In my opinion he helped African Americans most white people tried to cover up the racism that exiated in our country. He made those people who belived them aware. If they would not belive a southern black man they would definitly belive a white man who experienced it firsthand. Who changed his pigmentation to become the other half and he knew the truth.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    John Howard Griffin is a middle-aged newspaper columnist and for

    John Howard Griffin is a middle-aged newspaper columnist and former rancher living in Texas in 1959. Writing in his diary, Griffin, a white man, recounts how he hit upon the startling idea to change his skin color and attempt to experience life as a black man. Griffin consults a dermatologist and after he agrees with himself on going through with the plan he travels to New Orleans and stays at a friend’s house without telling him what he plans to do. Throughout his journey, he travels to get to Mississippi. The main character goes through tough times believing he is black, but as his journey passes he starts to accept it. One of the major conflicts John Griffin goes through is when he tried to buy a bus ticket. What had happen, since how he appeared, black, The Ticket master refused to sell him a ticket. The Ticket master claimed that she didn't sell it to him because she had no change but by the way she spoke to him, the reader can tell she hated john without even knowing him, judging by his complexion.  Beside this many other stores where he had bought while he was white refused to cash his travelers check because of his dark skin, throughout these injustice he kept clam and was civilized. P.D. East, George Levitan, Adele Jackson, Don Rutledge all are minor character who portray that not all whites were mean and brutal to Negroes. Christophe was placed to demonstrate that not all black people fit the stereotype, he was a well-dressed, and who is fawning toward the white passengers, and cynical and condescending toward the blacks with whom he is forced to sit. Now Sterling Williams demonstrates that in general, Negroes are happy, friendly, people who are generous to everyone even strangers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2010


    Black Like Me is an awesome autobiography written by John Howard Griffin. In this book he shares with us his experiences of transforming from a white-skinned man, into a dark-skinned Negro. Even though I usually don't like reading books in general, I actually thought this was a very intriguing, touching book. The situations that he encounters with both white and black men and women, and the ups and downs he has to endure, capture and pull you into the book as if you were there with him.
    The one thing that I had a real problem with was getting through the 'long' parts. I am almost positive, that in at least one book you have read there is at least one section you skip because you just don't feel like reading it. Black Like Me tends to have a lot of those. There's the beginning; the first few pages you read seem to go by super slowly, then some parts in the middle, and almost the whole ending. I thought that he often repeated his feelings about Negro discrimination, which after a while was a bit tiring to hear. In my perspective, this was the only downfall to this book.
    This story had many, many lessons toward the 'rights and wrongs' of discrimination. I have to say that my favorite part of the book was when he was invited to stay overnight by a Negro family. The family that he stayed with consisted of a husband, wife, and six children. They were a poor family in dept, with only two bedrooms, and ate cooked beans every night for dinner. He compared how these Negro children acted, with his own children; he concluded that there was no difference than just the pigment in their skin. It saddened him to think that these perfectly capable, bright Negro children have less potential in their future. I thought that there was also a connection between this book and When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. In When I Was Puerto Rican, she too was discriminated when she moved to America. She wanted to become a movie star, an actor, but because of her looks, ethnicity, and poor background, she too was looked down upon. But this scene from Black Like Me touched me in a very emotional way to just think that what he is experiencing and documenting, it is real.
    I think the reason I like this book so much, is because it gives a sense of what's really happening in the world, even though it was written a few decades ago. I would recommend this book even though there were some difficult parts to read. If you do chose to read it, I hope you liked it as much as I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    To walk in another man's shoes

    It is said one cannot understand or empathize with someone else unless 'you walk in his or her shoes.' John Howard Griffin did just that, darkened his skin and took a walk into the Deep South to see how it would feel to be a member of a despised minority during 1959, the height of the Jim Crow years, when water fountains and rest rooms were separate for the races, when a black man or woman couldn't eat in a restaurant or get a hotel room. He suffers the indignity of finding everyday tasks like these almost insurmountable. Daily he experiences the cruel racial divide of the South and realizes that racism is as rampant as rumored. Without ceasing Griffin reveals the truth of Prejudice, by exposing the hidden mask of tolerance. Griffin uses an excellent blend of facts and personal experiences to premise the question of identity as it relates to race. As this theme deepens so does the internal need for Griffin too disclose the elements of racism. This force calls him to shed off his white identity and transform into a black man. I¿m much obliged to confess this novel helped me to fathom the level of discrimination African-Americans faced. The only discontentment was found in the lack of description of what his family might have faced throughout his journey. I recommend Black Like Me to anyone looking for a straightforward testament of prejudice, but only if your willing to put on some uncomfortable shoes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Ever been segregated to the point where you could not sit where

    Ever been segregated to the point where you could not sit where you wanted on the bus, or not be able to walk
     into a restaurant that you once knew. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin is about a young white man working
     for a magazine called Sepia. Sepia is ran by the colored culture and meant for the colored culture. When Griffin
     is asked to write an article on what it was like to be a Black man in the Deep South, he took his job to the next
     level by completely changing his skin color. Griffin stated, “You will not know what it is like to be a Black man
    living in the south unless you are a Black man living in the south.” Griffin has a hard time living in the South as
     he moves from state to state facing problems and moving deeper and deeper into the unknown, unthinkable,
    and unimaginable horrendous Deep South. Griffin begins to wonder if he will ever make it back alive. I enjoyed
    this book because I was able to really see how people were treated and learn more about the culture of that
    time. I recommend this book for teenage girls and middle-aged men and women. This book would be an
    enjoyed book for teenage girls because they are at a maturity level to understand what is happening. As well as
    being able to laugh at the characters, who bring humor to the book. In addition to teenage girls the book Black
    Like Me would be suitable for middle-aged men and women, for they will have a good understanding of what this
     time in history was like and become more familiar of what the other race was going through at that time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    This is an interesting book. My favorite part was when the autho

    This is an interesting book. My favorite part was when the author transformed himself and switched back and 
    forth between races. The reactions he received from the same people due his skin color was upsetting. 

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  • Posted September 26, 2011

    A view into the unequal world- great read

    Black Like Me is one of those books that motivate you to make changes in your world on how you view different people. Black Like Me is about Mr. Griffin transforming himself into a middle-aged black man to journal about the ways of their lives and how the black lives contrast with the lives of a white folk. Throughout his journey in the un-equal world, he tests his boundaries, finds true danger in everyday life, learns the rules of the black population, and moves around seeing what the black community is like in different areas in the south. Reading how John Howard Griffin's thoughts and beliefs change through this experiment, the readers state of mind molds to his and feels what he is going through every day in the black community. Throughout this reading, we see racial intolerance, prejudice opinions, and stereotyping at best. Having these negative actions being portrayed throughout the book, the reader becomes sympathetic towards the black race. Reading further in the book, you feel the urge to think about how you treat different people in your life and how lucky we all are to have a combined world with people just as equal as we are. Over all, I genuinely liked this book. For being a nonfiction book, it's actually one of my favorites. The only thing I would say that I disliked in the book would be the long pieces of history that don't pertain to anything that has or had happen in the reading. I would recommend this book highly to someone interested in racial history or someone who is just looking for a good nonfiction book to read in their spare time. Being that this book has very heavy concepts, I wouldn't recommend anyone under the age of 15 mostly because they wouldn't get the full just of the book and its meanings. One of John Howard Millers other books I would recommend would be Scattered Shadows : a book about him being blind. Knowing his writing style, to anyone who enjoyed Black Like Me should read Scattered Shadows. My overall rating of Black Like Me would be 4 stars out of five because the concepts touched me and I related to Mr. Miller going throughout his journey like I was right beside him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    A Book Unlike Any Other

    Have you ever heard of a white man impersonating a black man to the extent of changing his skin color? I've never, and after reading this book, I am truly amazed by the courage John Griffin had to do such a thing. In his book, Black Like Me, John uses medication and ultraviolet light to change his skin color for journalistic purposes. His goal was to see how blacks were treated now in the 1950s. What he sees is shocking: blacks are constantly insulted, beat by white men, and very obviously segregated. I would definitely recommend this book, because it shows the large difference between how whites and blacks were treated. Also, from this book, you see the contrast of how people treat John when he is white or black. Black Like Me digs deep into the segregation of the South, revealing the between-the-lines horrors the blacks had to face during this period of American history.

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    great book!

    The novel,Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffen is the best book! Normally, I am not the biggest fan of reading books but for this particular one, I made an exception. This is by far one of the most interesting books I have ever read. It was filled with brutalness, optimistic, and sad times which was great because the book never became boring. It clearly showed how horrific segregation was back in the day and how times have changed since then. Also, it shows dedication by John because when he had everything in his life, which included a beautiful wife and kids, he gave it all up so that he could futher investigate race issues. He put everything on the line to experience the life of a negro. In the beginning of the novel, when John has his first encounters with Negroes, he meets a man in New Orleans. It was said that while John was minding his own business walking down the streets, the whole atmosphere was entirely different. Everywhere he turned, there was a Negro. The man came driving through the street with his big truck saying to hop in for a ride. On the ride, he asks John what brings him to New Orlans. Their convesation seems to be going along just fine when the gentleman asks is he was around here to stir up trouble. John denied. Then, he tells John that they would kill anyone who trys to cause trouble in their town. This was sort of like a reality check for John because what it made him realize was that how much he is risking by him making that decision of becoming a black man. It makes him ponder if he made the right choice or not. I really enjoyed this book, it really got to my attention and compared to some other books, this one is a winner! I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010


    This book was very fascinating and enthralling. Being an African-American female it was very interesting to hear of a white male disguising himself as an African-American for an extended period of time. I really Admired John Griffins endeavor and was totally engrossed in his story. He gives vivid imagery and tells the bare truth, no matter how harsh it is. This was a wonderful page-turner that gets tough at times to read, but you are compelled to keep going...Very wonderful indeed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2006

    Black like me was a good book!!

    This book is great it shows the way the black people were treated in the 60s. It is about a guy that changes his skin color to see how the black people were treated in different areas.I like this book a lot. It was neat to see how the black people were treated in different places.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Simply Wonderful

    This is a wonderful book. It shows a man's daring experience to get out of his comfort zone as a white man, change into a black man, and go to the south where blacks are mistreated the most. Griffin is a genius...a daring genius!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2003

    Black Like Me

    What would you do if you wonted to be black and wonted to go down to the Deep South? Would you change your skin black or would you just keep wondering? The book is about a man named Mr. Griffin wonting to go down to the Deep South and see what it was like. Mr. Griffin turned his skin temporarily black so that he could go down and see what it was like, and to see if the blacks would notice that he was really white by how he acted and things like that. Mr. Griffin goes down to the Deep South and he makes some fiends down there so then he feels accepted in the Deep South. The book mad me keep reading because I wonted to see how Mr. Griffin turned out at the end of the book. I would recommend this book to people that like to read and read about true event. Also if you are interested in racism too. I really like this book because it was based on a true story and had to deal with black peoples lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    "Black Like Me" John Howard Griffin

    Very few people have actually experienced racial segregation from a different perspective, in ¿Black Like Me,¿ by John Howard Griffin, a man changes his skin color to understand what black people in the deep south had to put up with in the late 1950¿s. This is a memoir of a middle aged, white, catholic male, who undergoes a surgery to understand first hand the problem of racism in the Deep South. After explaining his mission to his family and the FBI, he sets off to truly feel the torture black people had to experience during a period of white domination. <P> Griffin, uses irony, not in his writing, but in his actions, to experience the daily problems a Negro had to deal with, just because of their skin color. The irony comes from everybody believing he is a Negro, but he is naturally white. The first person he meets in New Orleans, a local shoe-shine, looks up to him as a white person, but, once he undergoes the surgery, the shoe-shine finds ways to help him out, and they become friends. This just goes to show that skin color shouldn¿t have any effect on the way you judge a person, we¿re all the same. Towards the end of his study, Griffin switches skin colors from block to block, making people judge him the wrong way. Walking down the street he may seem like another Negro, but actually he is just another person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    ¿Black like me¿ ¿ a book about the life as a Negro in the Deep South in 1959.

    The book ¿Black like me¿ is about John Howard Griffin, a white man who darkened the color of his skin to live as a black man in the Deep South. In this book he writes his experiences of hate, fear and hopelessness down. J. H. Griffin describes what he sees, feels. And he speaks about his thoughts. The Author, J. H. Griffin by himself, shows much about the life and the living as a black in the South. He shows how it is like to be a black man in the Deep South. He shows the hate of the white against the blacks and he explains that you have nothing ¿ no chance ¿ as a black person. It is very difficult to find a job and the black people cannot use restaurants, bathrooms or shops from the white people. J. H. Griffin wants that the reader fells with him and he makes his story full with feelings. J. H. Griffin talks about the discrimination and the hate stares from the white people against the blacks. He describes his personal experience and his personal feelings in easy, but impressing words, so that the reader can see through J. H. Griffins eyes and can feel the Oppressing ness in that bad situation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    well done

    I feel that this book is all about a mind set.. If you don't have the proper mind set, you will not be able to get the jist of the is extremely deep and will cause you to think about the way you judge others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Black Like Me Was Riveting

    It was one of those books you just couldn't put down. It showed the reality of being in a black neighborhood. Excellent story, truly touching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2000

    The truth shall set you free

    I read this book in college and i thought it very interesting and eye-opening. The reading brought White Man's Burden to mind. Very unfortunate that only one male caucasian has experienced this and therefore leaves many thinking that racism and discrimination is in the minds of African-Americans. It's a very real issue. It was then and it still is now. At least then, true sentiment was not hidden the way it is today, sometimes creating false comfort zones between individuals who are white and black.

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