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Reliving “Black Like Me” Essay

1020 words - 5 pages

Solomon used his social experiment to get a better understanding of life as a black man. He was dedicated in finding out what that life would be like by dropping out of school for a semester, making his skin darker, and leaving home to travel. What influenced him to decide to do all of that? Solomon wanted to see if his black friends were right about if life is harder for them just because they are black. I do believe he found his answer.
What surprised me most is that Solomon only lasted two days. To me and from my experiences what he went through was not that terrible. From his perspective I can see how it can be hard to adjust. He was not use to the looks, snide comments, and the feeling one feels when constantly put in these situations. Solomon (1994) stated that he “made friends pretty easily. I was nice to them and they were nice to me” (p. 61). Solomon could not adjust to people not liking or treating him different because of the color of his skin. Especially since he was used to being treated a different and more accepting way. He was still the same person, yet the doorman at his brother’s apartment started to ask him where he was going and who he was going to go visit; the same man he walked past everyday for a month that was cordial to him. His own sister said he looked ugly! Nothing about him changed accepted the color of his skin. I can understand his frustration.
Another event in his story that surprised me was Solomon’s determination to visit Forsyth County. Solomon had his mind made up that he was going there even though people, black and white, advised him not to. A black patron he met at a diner told Solomon to stay in D.C. and that “all the little small towns is still the Old South” (Solomon, 1994, p. 60). Most black people would have heeded their warning, not wanting to knowingly go into a racist town. Since he was white and wanted to get a true since of what it would have been like for a black person in Forsyth, I can see why their warnings did not hold as much meaning as it would a black person.
I would be more accepted in mainstream society and have more privileges if I was white. I would have connections because more white people are in the position to help people that look and relate to them. For instance, if a white and black cop patrol together and they pull a white person over, most likely either one of the cops would let that person go or not give them a hard time if the driver’s violation was not too bad. Now if they pull over a black person with the same violation, the black cop most likely would not let the person off easy because the black cop do not want to seem...

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