Black Like Me

Black Like Me

4.3 142
by John G. Griffin
     
 

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In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in… See more details below

Overview

In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

Author Biography: John Howard Griffin was born in 1920 in Dallas, Texas and was educated in France. He served in the U.S. Air Force in the South Pacific, where an injury sustained in a Japanese bombardment led to the loss of his sight for ten years. He is the author of two novels, Nuni and The Devil Rides Outside, as well as a biography of Thomas Merton and numerous other works of nonfiction. He died in 1980.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Griffin's (The Devil Rides Outside) mid-century classic on race brilliantly withstands both the test of time and translation to audio format. Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discriminations" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. Griffin imparts the hopelessness and despair he felt while executing his social experiment, and professional narrator Childs renders this recounting even more immediate and emotional with his heartfelt delivery and skillful use of accents. The CD package includes an epilogue on social progress, written in 1976 by the author, making it suitable for both the classroom and for personal enlightenment. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In 1959, Griffin, a noted white journalist, decided to try an experiment. He felt that the only way to determine the truth about how African Americans were treated by whites, and to learn if there was discrimination, was to become one. After a series of medical treatments that darkened his skin, he began his travels in the Deep South. Made up primarily of his journal entries during that time, Black Like Me, read by Ray Childs, details the experiences he had while passing for black. He finds that the people who saw him as white days earlier would not give him the time of day. He suffered even more as he rode buses in New Orleans, discovering how whites would no longer sit next to him. Listeners will be fascinated by his bus trip to Mississippi during which the driver would not let any of the African Americans off at a rest stop and how some of the passengers decided to deal with this slight. A fascinating view of life before the heyday of the Civil Rights movement, showing the difficulties of being black in America. For all libraries.-Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-John Howard Griffin's groundbreaking and controversial novel about his experiences as a white man who transforms himself with the aid of medication and dye in order to experience firsthand the life of a black man living in the Deep South in the late 1950s is a mesmerizing tale of the ultimate sociological experiment. Ray Childs' narration is both straightforward and deeply satisfying. A skilled reader, he incorporates different dialects to help listeners distinguish among the various characters. His ability to convey a full spectrum of emotions, including exhilaration, bone deep sadness, and gut wrenching fear is riveting. Equally fascinating is Childs' description of how Griffin's unheard of approach to studying racial discrimination changed his personal life and ignited a storm of argument and discussion around the nation. This recording deserves a place in every public library collection.-Cindy Lombardo, Tuscarawas County Public Library, New Philadelphia, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Essential reading...a social document of the first order...with such authenticity that it cannot be dismissed." -San Francisco Chronicle

"A stinging indictment of thoughtless, needless inhumanity.  No one can read it without suffering." -Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451127112
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1962
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Essential reading...a social document of the first order...with such authenticity that it cannot be dismissed." -San Francisco Chronicle

"A stinging indictment of thoughtless, needless inhumanity. No one can read it without suffering." -Dallas Morning News

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