Ricki's Reviews > Black Like Me

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
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's review
May 12, 2011

really liked it

192 pages

1. Main Conflict: This a non-fiction book about a middle-aged white man, John Howard Griffin, who decides to undergo medical treatment to change the color of his skin and temporarily become a black man. He wants to experience what's it like to be a black man. The first place that he went was New Orleans. Griffin expects to find prejudice, oppression, and hardship, but he is shocked at the extent of it: everywhere he goes, he experiences difficulties and insults. The word "nigger" seems to echo from every corner of the street. it was really hard to find a job or even a restroom that blacks are allowed to used. After several bad days, he decides to go deep south of Mississippi and Alabama. It's actually even worse there. He knows Martin Luther King, who was the preacher in one of the black community. Griffin was depressed and exhausted as life as a black man. He decided to stop. His skin started to turn to its normal color. He begins alternating back and forth between races, visiting a place first as a black man and then as a white man. He notices immediately that when he is a white man, whites treat him with respect and blacks treat him with suspicious fear; when he is a black man, blacks treat him with generosity and warmth, while whites treat him with hostility and contempt. He wrote an article and published them. He got called on to do the interview about his experience being a black man. Even though some people agreed with him, but not all of them.

2. I like this book because the author experienced the life of a black man by himself and not just wrote the book from other people's opinion. He explained the detailes very well and had the really good plot. I think he was very brave.

3. I think some people might not like this book because they don't agreed with the author. They might not like his idea of the book or maybe his action.

4. This book is very unique, in my opinion, because non of the book that I have read would anything as crazy as he did. He dared to change his color skin just to experience the situation and I really admire him for that. He might get hurt physically and emotionally by all the bullies in the street and words that came out of people's mouth. If I were him, I wouldn't even have the idea of doing that. I really do respect his action.

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