Black Like Me Essay Research Paper John

9 September 2017

Black Like Me Essay, Research Paper

John Howard Griffin was a journalist and a specializer on race

issues. After publication, he became a taking advocator in the Civil

Rights Movement and did much to advance consciousness of the racial state of affairss

and base on balls legislative assembly. He was in-between aged and populating in Mansfield, Texas

at the clip of publication in 1960. His desire to cognize if Southern Whites

were racialist against the Negro population of the Deep South, or if they

truly judged people based on the single & # 8217 ; s personality as they said

they prompted him to traverse the colour line and write Black Like Me. Since

communicating between the white and African American races did non be,

neither race truly knew what it was like for the other. Due to this,

Griffin felt the lone manner to cognize the truth was to go a black adult male and

travel through the South. His trip was financed by the internationally

distributed Negro magazine Sepia in exchange for the right to publish

extracts from the finished merchandise. After three hebdomads in the Deep South

as a black adult male John Howard Griffin produced a 188-page diary covering

his passage into the black race, his travels and experiences in the

South, the displacement back into white society, and the reaction of those he

cognize anterior his experonce the book was published and released.

John Howard Griffin began this novel as a white adult male on October 28,

1959 and became a black adult male ( with the aid of a celebrated skin doctor ) on

November 7. He entered black society in New Orleans through his contact

Sterling, a shoe radiance male child that he had met in the yearss prior to the

medicine taking full consequence. Griffin stayed with Sterling at the radiance

base for a few yearss to go assimilated into the society and to larn

more about the attitude and mentality of the common black adult male. After one

hebdomad of seeking to happen work other than humble labour, he left to go

throughout the Southern provinces of Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.

November 14, the twenty-four hours he decided to go forth, was the twenty-four hours after the

Mississippi jury refused to indict or see the grounds in the Mack

Parker kidnap-lynch slaying instance. He decided to travel into the bosom of

Mississippi, the Southern province most feared by inkinesss of that clip, merely

to see if it truly did hold the & # 8220 ; fantastic relationship & # 8221 ; with their

Blacks that they said they did. What he found in Hattiesburg was tenseness

in the province so evident and thick that it scared him to decease. One of

the grounds for this could be attributed to the Parker instance determination

because the test took topographic point non far from Hattiesburg. He knew it was a

menace to his life if he remained because he was non a true Negro and did

non cognize the proper manner to carry on himself in the present state of affairs.

Griffin requested that one of his friends help him go forth the province as shortly

as possible. P.D. East, Griffin & # 8217 ; s friend, was more than willing to assist

his friend out of the unsafe state of affairs that he had gotten himself into

and back to New Orleans.

From New Orleans, traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi and began catch

boosting toward Mobile, Alabama. Griffin found that work forces would non pick him

up in the twenty-four hours about every bit frequently as they would at dark. One of the grounds

being that the darkness of dark is a protection of kinds and the white

work forces would allow their defences down. Besides, they would non hold to be afraid

of person they knew seeing them with a Negro in their auto. But the chief

ground was of the stereotypes many of these work forces had of Negroes, that they

were more sexually active, knew more about sex, had larger genital organ, and

fewer ethical motives and hence would discourse these things with them. Many of

the Whites that offered Griffin drives would go angry and allow him out

when he would non discourse his sex life with them. One adult male was amazed to

happen a Negro who spoke intelligently and tried to explicate the false beliefs

behind the stereotypes and what the job with Negro society was.

Many Negroes he encountered on his journey through the Deep South

were really sort and opened their Black Marias and places to him. One illustration of

this is when Griffin asked an aged Black where he might happen housing,

the adult male offered to portion his ain bed with him. Another case was when

Griffin was stranded

someplace between Mobile and Montgomery and a black

adult male offered him lodging at his place. The adult male & # 8217 ; s place was a two-room hovel

that housed six members of his household, but he accepted John into his place

and refused any money for the problem stating that & # 8220 ; he & # 8217 ; d brought more than

he & # 8217 ; d taken. & # 8221 ;

In Montgomery, Alabama, Griffin decided it was clip for him to

reenter white society, but he besides wanted to derive a cognition of the country

as a black adult male. So, he devised the technique of covering an country as a

black and so returning the undermentioned twenty-four hours as a white. What he found was,

as a black he would have the & # 8220 ; hatred stare & # 8221 ; from Whites and be treated

with every courtesy by the black community. As a white, it would be the

exact face-to-face, he would acquire the & # 8220 ; hatred stare & # 8221 ; from inkinesss and be treated

wondrous by the same people who despised him the old twenty-four hours.

After a few yearss of cranking across the colour line, Griffin

decided that he had adequate stuff from his diary to make a book and

adequate experience as a black adult male so he reverted for good into white

society. Traversing over into the white universe was fazing to Griffin, if

merely because of the manner he was treated by the same people who despised him

antecedently due to his pigmentation. The sudden ability to walk into any

constitution and non be refused service was besides a daze after holding to

hunt for common comfortss yearss earlier.

After returning to his hometown of Mansfield, Texas Griffin was

non widely accepted back into the community he one time knew. Many of the

occupants of the metropolis were racialists, hence they considered him one of

the & # 8216 ; niggers. & # 8217 ; The racialists even went every bit far as to hang Griffin in image

from the town & # 8217 ; s halt visible radiation one forenoon. This prompted him and his household

to go forth the country until the state of affairs well calmed down.

Griffin was interviewed by assorted telecasting and wireless hosts as

good as magazine and correspondents after the book was made populace. His

chief aim was to educate the populace of the state of affairs in the South and

people couldn & # 8217 ; t assist but hear about it. Wether or non they accepted the

information was non up to Griffin, but he did his best to do the

cognition available.

This book relates to American history because it takes the reader

into the Deep South before the Civil Rights Movements took clasp and shows

what it was like to be black. In the Preface, the writer states & # 8220 ; I could

have been a Jew in Germany, a Mexican in a figure of provinces, or a member

of any & # 8216 ; inferior & # 8217 ; group. Merely the inside informations would hold differed. The narrative

would be the same. & # 8221 ; The inside informations he mentioned were he being black and in

the South, and the narrative is of hatred and racism directed toward him and

others like him on history of those inside informations. The history he related

showed America and the universe that race dealingss in the South was non the

reasonably image it was painted as. Alternatively, he showed the day-to-day battle

of the inkinesss to last.

Griffin & # 8217 ; s prejudice is that white Southern Americans of that period

were racist toward the African American population. The lone thing

altered from before he entered New Orleans to after was his visual aspect.

He dyed his tegument a really dark brown and shaved his caput, his vesture,

address forms, and mentions had non changed and every inquiry was

answered truthfully. If people did justice others by their qualities and

makings, his clip in the Deep South should hold been reasonably

uneventful. Alternatively, there were day-to-day pursuits to happen rest-room

installations, eating houses, shops, and assorted other & # 8216 ; comfortss & # 8217 ; that he

took advantage of before he crossed the colour line. During his stay in

New Orleans, inkinesss were forced to utilize specific installations designated for

them and they were normally few and far between. Other than the Greyhound

station or other public edifices that inkinesss were allowed to come in, there

were no installations that were at par with the 1s the Whites had entree

to. His now black tegument besides prevented him from come ining any shop and

buying something to imbibe, alternatively he would hold to happen a Negro Cafe.

These Cafes were non about every bit legion as the many topographic points the lowliest

white could get a drink. The colour of his


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