Book Report Of Black Like Me That I Did For Accelerated History Class. An Extensive Overview Of The Book.

1623 words - 6 pages

John Howard Griffin was a journalist and a specialist on raceissues. After publication, he became a leading advocate in the CivilRights Movement and did much to promote awareness of the racial situationsand pass legislature. He was middle aged and living in Mansfield, Texasat the time of publication in 1960. His desire to know if Southern whiteswere racist against the Negro population of the Deep South, or if theyreally judged people based on the individual's personality as they saidthey prompted him to cross the color line and write Black Like Me. Sincecommunication between the white and African American races did not exist,neither race really knew what it was like for the other. Due to this,Griffin felt the only way to know the truth was to become a black man andtravel through the South. His trip was financed by the internationallydistributed Negro magazine Sepia in exchange for the right to printexcerpts from the finished product. After three weeks in the Deep Southas a black man John Howard Griffin produced a 188-page journal coveringhis transition into the black race, his travels and experiences in theSouth, the shift back into white society, and the reaction of those heknew prior his experience the book was published and released.John Howard Griffin began this novel as a white man on October 28,1959 and became a black man (with the help of a noted dermatologist) onNovember 7. He entered black society in New Orleans through his contactSterling, a shoe shine boy that he had met in the days prior to themedication taking full effect. Griffin stayed with Sterling at the shinestand for a few days to become assimilated into the society and to learnmore about the attitude and mindset of the common black man. After oneweek of trying to find work other than menial labor, he left to travelthroughout the Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.November 14, the day he decided to leave, was the day after theMississippi jury refused to indict or consider the evidence in the MackParker kidnap-lynch murder case. He decided to go into the heart ofMississippi, the Southern state most feared by blacks of that time, justto see if it really did have the "wonderful relationship" with theirNegroes that they said they did. What he found in Hattiesburg was tensionin the state so apparent and thick that it scared him to death. One ofthe reasons for this could be attributed to the Parker case decisionbecause the trial took place not far from Hattiesburg. He knew it was athreat to his life if he remained because he was not a true Negro and didnot know the proper way to conduct himself in the present situation.Griffin requested that one of his friends help him leave the state as soonas possible. P.D. East, Griffin's friend, was more than willing to helphis friend out of the dangerous situation that he had gotten himself intoand back to New Orleans.From New Orleans, traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi and began hitchhiking toward Mobile, Alabama. Griffin found...

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