Black Like Me Sociological Terms Essay

1092 Words May 18th, 2012 5 Pages
Lindsey Brown
Final
May 9, 2012
Black Like Me Black Like Me is a non-fiction book written by John Howard Griffin about what a black, middle-aged man has to go through every day in the Deep South. To find out what it is like to be a Negro, Griffin changes his skin color to that of a black. During his experiences, Griffin keeps a journal and that is what this book is. Black Like Me is a journal of Griffin's feelings, experiences, pains, and friends. The setting of Black Like Me is intensely important. The setting starts out on October 28, 1959 in Mansfield, Texas. The setting in Black Like Me is so important because if the setting is any other place than the Southern United States then the plot is
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In Mississippi, he is disheartened and exhausted, so he calls a white friend named P.D. East, a newspaperman who is opposed to racism. He spends a day with East, during which time they discuss the way racial prejudice has been incorporated into the South's legal code by bigoted writers and politicians. Eventually, Griffin leaves for a long hitchhiking trip throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Griffin finds that conditions for blacks are appalling, and that black communities seem run-down and defeated. He even notices a look of defeat and hopelessness on his own face, after only a few weeks as a black man. In Montgomery, the black community is charged with determination and energy, by a preacher named Marin Luther King, Jr. Blacks in Montgomery have begun practicing passive resistance, a nonviolent form of refusing to comply with racist laws and rules. Griffin, again depressed and weary of life as a black man, briefly stops taking his medication and lightens his skin back to his normal color. He begins alternating back and forth between races, visiting a place first as a black man and then as a white man. He notices immediately that when he is a white man, whites treat him with respect and blacks treat him with suspicious fear. When he is a black man, blacks treat him with generosity and warmth, while whites treat him with hostility and contempt. Griffin concludes that the races do not understand one another at all, and that a tolerant dialogue is needed to bridge

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