Thursday, September 30, 2021

Review of "Black Like Me," by John Howard Griffin

 Review of

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin

Five out of five stars

One of the most powerful novels ever written

 I read this book while I was in high school upon recommendation of one of my language arts teachers. After completing it, I thanked her for the recommendation. I firmly believe it should be required reading in American high schools. In approximately 160 pages, Griffin describes what it was like for black people in the Deep South before the Civil Rights Movement forced desegregation.

 Griffin used scientific methods and knowledge of the differences between the races to adopt the physical appearance of a black man. The change in his social standing was extreme. As a white male, he could go where he wanted, get a drink of water and speak to white women. Yet, once his skin was darkened, his movements were severely restricted, and he didn’t dare make the most generic of conversation with a white woman.

 No white person can ever truly understand what it is like to have dark skin in America and of course much has improved since this book was written in 1961. Yet, there is a great deal of racist residue in America and this book will raise your consciousness regarding the history of racism in America. Young blacks will benefit from the lesson on what it used to be like.

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