Puneri's Reviews > Black Like Me

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
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Feb 19, 12

Read in February, 2012

In the fear of repeating myself I will still say, the Truth is so much better than fiction. Black Like Me a memoir of a white man who became a black man and journeyed through deep south in 1959. This was before Civil Rights. So one can imagine why this book caused so much outrage in that part of the country. Just wrote as a diary, this powerful book provides us with reality in 1959, in such a simple way that it freezes one to the core. John Howard Griffin was no ordinary individual. He was trained in France, fought in WWII and saw the worst discrimination in Germany against the Jews. So why he decided to go on this journey, is not a surprise. The appearances of fairness that the South held completely crumbled when he decided to walk the same path as a black man. The real nice, hospitable southerner just had a different side to him. And it was shamefully based on the color of man's skin.

Since, civil rights, things definitely have changed. But as Griffin points out more than once, it is not just about black and white; it's about US and THEM everywhere in the world. May it be religion, culture or practices that differ US and THEM, all over the world. What we need to understand that actually there are more things bind us than separate us. We all care about our future, our children's future and we all want to have a decent life. This thought actually reminds me of George Carlin and his famous stand-up where he talks about things that make us more similar than different.

Black Like Me, though many times on a study list of African-American studies; I think it should be on the list of everyone who lives on this earth and wants to get over the dilemma of US vs. THEM. As Griffin wonderful puts, "Black Like Me means Humans Like US."
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