Customer Reviews for

Black Like Me

Average Rating 4.5
( 142 )
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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 142 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    Black Like Me written by John Howard Griffin is a very interesti

    Black Like Me written by John Howard Griffin is a very interesting book about a white journalist who decides to leave his family and his home town to travel across Louisiana for what first started into a research project but became something much more important to him than that.
    When Griffin arrives to the town, he meets with a doctor who perscribes  him pills to take everyday that will turn his skin darker for him to become a black man.
    At first, Griffin is kind of scared because he doesn't know what to expect. As the project becomes into something bigger, Griffin experiences the real things "negros" have to experience in this town. He is threatened, followed, and people glare at him with looks of disgust.
    On the other hand, the black people of that society, are very welcoming to Griffin and treat him as if he were family. Griffin soon discovers that as he stops taking his pills, he becomes white again. With this, he begins to experiment both skin colors--white during the day and black at night.
    He discovers crazy unbelievable things, that make him open his eyes to the real world.  
    Personally, i think this books gives a lot of feedback of treatment to the negro society back during that time and the things they had to go through everyday, which was really interesting to me. That message is what i think is the most important message this book emphasizes.
    The things Griffin experiences after the world knows about his experiment, demonstrates the empathetic way people treat others--even of their own race. It makes me realize that there wasn't a lot of real freedom, or freedom of speech. I think the authors message to the readers about this book is to value your freedom and also to recap how unjust african americans were, and how they were treated and also how it affected them. and their lives.  Finally, i recommend this book to the people who are interested in learning about history and to value how life has changed to many people. I do not  recommend this book to people who are really passionate about their race and/or are really against racism because they might not enjoy the book as much, and might have a difficult time reading it. Overall, i think the book was really great! I enjoyed reading it, and would definitely read it again. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    To WHY?

    You are right about the whole U.S treating African Americans wrong, but President Lincoln stopped slavery in the north and kept it in the south. Then when Missouri applied or statehood thats when all hell broke loose. Before the Missouri Compromise there was an equal amount of power between the North and South. Then once Missouri said they wanted to become a state everyone had a probelm wih that because there would be an unequal amount of power. Lincoln clearly stated that he had no intention if destroying slavery all together, he just wated to stop the spread of Slavery. Thats the main reason why everyone says the South was the whole cause of the Civil War.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012 see how another person lives

    Brave and daring. To be with the same people but to change how one looks and how they treat you. One day you are accepted the next you are below being treated as an animal.

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  • Posted May 11, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This is the second time I've read this book. It is a keeper. Thought provoking, inspiring, memorable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012


    I've just finished this book and it's left me speechless. Definitely a must read. It's a beautiful reminder of what some courageous men, like Griffin, have gone through so we all can be viewed as equal human beings. I love this book and recommend it to all people. It's important that we never forget the fight they've put up for us so we can succeed in life. We have to stop hurting each other, killing each other, and come together not forsaking the privilege we now have to be treated as equals. I wonder how Griffin and others who fought for our rights would feel now knowing all the violence people of the same race (who they fought for) commit against each other. It's such a shame. We (minorities) seriously should not be taking these things for granted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Black like me

    This is a very good book it can teach people about racism

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012


    Why do so many people believe that only the south mistreated people of color when it was the whole of the united states that did. I just heard an interview yesterday by one of the black actresses that was in the movie the help and she lived in new hampshire or maine and she said she was spit on everyday and white boys chased her home from school everyday. I was born in the deep south and i never saw anything even remotely like what seems to be accepted as the truth but when i lived in ohio i saw prejudice on a daily basis. Frankly i think there is enough blame to go around. It is ridiculous to judge anyone based on the color of their skin. We were all created by god and we are equal in his sight. Who are we to judge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012


    I started reading this with my classmates today. It's good so far. I'll post as we keep reading.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Ignorance of the Whites

    Since I am white, Black Like Me, By John Griffin really had an impact on me in see how badly the African Americans were treated. I knew that they were not given the same rights as white men, but I did not know, as did most of the white men who did not live in the South, that the blacks were brought up being taught that the whites are superior and that the blacks are inferior.
    One of my favorite excerpts from the book was when John's real feeling are revealed after he was chased by a white man in New Orleans. John pondered to himself, ".It was an area of unknowing. I wondered if it could ever really be bridged" (39). John is starting to wonder if it really was worth it to go through all the work he did to end up nowhere closer.
    Sometimes, during the book, I wondered to myself, how could these white people be so ignorant about how they treat the blacks. When John is in another black man's house, He can practically hear the whites criticizing the house, saying "Look at that shanty. They live like animals. If they wanted to do better they could. And they expect us just to accept them? They like to live like that." (111).
    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. It is a great historical memoir that gives you first hand experiences of what really happened in the South United States in the 1950's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    A Compelling and Insightful Memoir

    I began reading this book, not quite knowing what to expect. Aside from hurriedly reading a brief synopsis of the memoir, I knew nothing of the book, my motivation to read it being a class assignment and a recommendation from a friend of mine. Needless to say, I found these recollections of John Griffin's travels through the deep south to be incredibly insightful, allowing me a detailed glimpse of the racial distress throughout the United States during the 1950s. Reading about Griffin's travels through New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, I was never bored by the memoir. Griffin's writing style is delightful, and the absolutely amazing experiences he has had me constantly wanting to read more. I found such moments as his brief stay in a monastery and his long hike down the Mississippi highway at night to be incredibly compelling, showing the depth of Griffin's travels as well as the depth of what he discovered on his six-week voyage through the South. While I did find the lengthy afterword to be boring, for the most part repeating what had already been stressed by Griffin, I absolutely loved this book. Having grown up in a still slightly segregated town in northeast Texas, Black Like Me hit pretty close to home. I hope that anyone reading this will hopefully take something out of what I've said and give this book a chance. I hope that anyone reading this will see as much as I have in this memoir, one of the most compelling I believe that I've read thus far. - David W.

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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 September 12, 2011

    Best book I've ever read

    Changing your skin color to see how the other side lives is genious an thats what makes the book uniquee.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This was required reading for me in high school and being a writer myself I was compelled to read it again as a study on the Ghetto and black history. I found the book to be just as interesting now as I did back in high school.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Loved this Book

    Black like Me, a book that of course looked interesting to me but never thought I would read it. Even though I'm black doesn't mean that I'm always going to read something to do with black people, places, and things. While browsing the library for a book to read my friend found the book and handed it to me jokingly saying "Oh you'll love this book Jocelyn." With nothing to lose I picked up the book and read the back cover. It explained how a man name John Howard Griffin did an experiment where he dyed his skin to look like a black man's and ventured off into the world no longer his white self. From there he moved to New Orleans a town filled with black and white alike. He met a shoe shiner to whom he soon became friends with. Sterling Williams, the shoe shiner, takes John under his wing and takes him in throughout his journey in New Orleans.
    This book is thrilling, moving, and emotional. Amazingly John dealt with clerks refusing to cater to him, let him use the bathroom, or even cash a check. This book is a great read and is mostly appropriate for ages 10 and up.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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