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2 Nd Review Of: "Black Like Me."

1508 words - 6 pages

As we come into the story John Griffin basically introduces himself to the audience. He states that for many years he was frightened by the thought of what it would feel like for a white man to walk in a black mans shoes and what it's like to be discriminated against? And so he leaves us with these thoughts.The authors' purpose for writing this book is simply factual. He speaks of letting it be known about how Negroes in the South are treated simply due to the color of their skin, and what it felt like for a white man to be a black man in the South. Griffin decides simply that the only way to bridge the gap between the white race and the Negroes is to become a Negro. He informs his wife of his idea to change the pigment of his skin and stay in New Orleans for a week to conduct this type of experiment. He would not change his name, clothing, or his true identity, but simply only his skin color.He starts conducting this experiment by meeting with a doctor and taking medication daily, John must also lay under a sun lamp for hours at a time encaged in his room alone. John really doesn't mind this though as long as it means helping the white race finally understand the true race of black men and women. The transition is almost complete but he has to do a few more things to complete it. So he shaves his head and arms completely because no one Negro is black with blond wavy hair.Descriptive words that he uses are simply to show the true cruelty that some individuals can actually speak to one another. He describes every single setting with such descriptive words, the reader actually starts to feel as if they were standing there at that very moment, breathing and seeing what he does. For example John describes a scene on the bus when a white woman has no place to sit and suddenly out of sympathy he happens to glance her way letting her know she is welcome to sit next to him, then suddenly he states," Her blue eyes, so pale before sharpened and she spat out, "What're you looking at me like that for?" pg.25 Black like Me. As I alone was reading this comment I felt as if I was the one being stared down at and felt his shame and stupidity.At the beginning of the book the preface contains this very statement," I offer it in all its crudity and rawness. It traces the changes that occur to heart and body and intelligence when a so called first-class citizen is cast on the junk heap of second-class citizenship." Direct quote: Black Like Me., Griffin, John Howard. So this is the exact reason I believe why he really did use the descriptive words he does.Some of the main experiences John has as a black man were very shocking and even outrageous. An example is when Mr. Griffin starts to hitchhike on the highway of Biloxi. He speaks of white men picking him up and being very curious of sex lives of the Negro. In one case a man asked him to expose himself because he had never seen a black man naked before. John was stunned by this and got very quiet pretending not to...

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