Racial Prejudice In Black Like Me By John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me, an autobiographical diary by John Howard Griffin walks readers through the day to day trials of a black man in the late 1950’s. Griffin is a white journalist who goes undercover in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia as a black man to further understand a Negro’s struggle. Through his journey, he realizes that people immediately judge you by the tone of your skin regardless of your mannerism, wealth, or education. Black Like Me is as relevant now as it was then; because, although people would like to believe that everyone is treated the same way despite their race, they are not. Over time, incidents of racial inequality have profoundly lessened. This could be for a plethora of reasons but the most effective cause of …show more content…
Even though the prejudice against blacks has decreased, that does not mean prejudice has been eradicated. People have still not learned to treat everyone equal, despite their race or sexuality. In the late 1950’s Negroes were blatantly treated unfairly. Although in 2015, people are more careful about what leaves their mouth and are less obvious about specific racial dislikes, there are still instances of racial prejudice. Only three years ago, in 2012, America got the chance to witness the Trayvon-Martin Case, a perfect example of racial profiling. In Miami, Trayvon, a 17 year old boy was walking home in a hoodie on his phone, minding his own business, when he was shot dead by a man who described the teen as suspicious and claimed that he shot him out of self-defense. Even after it was obvious that the shooter, George Zimmerman, murdered a minor simply for the color of his skin, he was not charged. The case continued for a little over a year but at the end, Zimmerman was still never convicted of the crime. John Griffin refers to a very similar case in Black Like Me when he mentions the Parker Lynch Case. A …show more content…
When Black Like Me was published there were still separated bathrooms, colored people were forced to sit in the back of the bus, and there were white only cafes. John Howard Griffin tells about a time where he was forced into “holding his bladder until he [could] find a “Colored” sign.”(77) Now it would be arduous, if not impossible to find any of those instances in America. As the Civil Rights Movement progressed, voices became louder and more people spoke up. Through advocates like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and even John Howard Griffin people were given a voice. Whites slowly began to detach themselves from their seat on the side lines and started standing up for others, despite race. The Civil Rights Movement brought two sets of people who believed themselves completely different from each other, together in a united movement to make a change that would affect both of them. According to CNN and History.com, on March 3, 1991 Rodney King, a middle aged black taxi driver, was brutally beaten by white police officers at the end of a high speed chase. There were a number of officers who battered him and seventeen officers who stood by and watched a defenseless black man get mercilessly beaten. A tape recorded by a nearby man in his apartment proved Mr. King’s innocence and the police officers barbaric actions. Rodney King, although he was severely injured, did not die and the case went to

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