Compare And Contrast Black Like Me And Black Boy

2112 words - 8 pages

The racism and discrimination against blacks in both Black Like Me and Black Boy show the hardships and racial injustice that blacks faced in the south with their share of differences and similarities. After reading Black Like Me and Black Boy, I have gained a better perspective, about how in Black Like Me when John Howard Griffin was a “black” man he was treated unequally as all blacks are and once he went back to being a white man those people who had treated him bad were now treating him with respect. However, in the end no matter the skin color some things are the same for both colors. In Black Boy, I have learned that the life of a young child, a black boy, is hard during the segregated south and can harshly affect the child while growing up. As I read, I came across some similarities between both works as well as some differences. Even though both works had their moments in which the characters faced struggles, I was still able to see optimism as well as hope for a better life and future.
As I read Black Boy, Griffin provided me with a small insight on the way whites and blacks were differently treated. Black Like Me was based on a white man who wanted to get a better understanding of the life of negroes and how it feels to be treated unequally. He wanted to know what stood between the white man and black man, why they could not communicate. Griffin writes in his book that, “the only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a Negro” (Griffin 1). His journey then began and he lived the life of a black man. It is with such bravery that he went and risked becoming a Negro. He knew that adverse consequences would occur once people knew the truth. He did not care; I was fascinated with his desire to see what stood between both races not minding what others would think. I also could not believe that there could be prejudice even between blacks, “the lighter the skin the more trustworthy the Negro” (Griffin 8). During his experiment, Griffin noticed right away the differences in which he was treated when he was a white man and then when he would transform into a black man. When he was a white man, the white folks would treat him with respect and with courtesy, while the black folks would be suspicious with him. When he was a black man, they would treat him as if he was one of them, but the white folks disregarded him and treated him like any other “nigger”. A particular scene where he noticed the difference is when he went into a pharmacy. When he was a white man, he was able to order limeade or ask for a glass of water, but when he went in as a Negro, he was not able to. Griffin had said the smells he smelled as a white man were the same as a black man. I believe it is very true and that no matter the color of our skin some things we will always have in common. I was also able to obtain an insight on the effects a child has growing up during the segregated south.
In Black Boy, I was able to come to terms that the way in...

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