Racism And Discrimination In Black Like Me By John Howard Griffin

Improved Essays
1.) The purpose of the book Black Like Me was to show that racism and discrimination cannot be fully understood until you live in the skin of another race. The book explores and supports the idea that racism is not something that can be fully grasped from observing or from a viewpoint other than those who are being discriminated against. Racism cannot be understood through statistics or simply a book stating facts. People from a different race cannot just sit back and assume what it is like to be another race, they need to feel it. John Howard Griffin explains before publishing his first articles that he “felt it was the best way of letting them know that their condition was known, that the world knew more about them than they suspected; the …show more content…
The book was written to provide a deeper look into the events and history of the civil rights movement. When most people think of the civil rights movement, they think of the big name leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, this book was made to examine not only the well known leaders but also the people and occurrences that did not get massly recognized, but greatly contributed to the the civil rights movement. For example, the book is meant to teach the world of the impacts made by people like Charles Hamilton Houston who inspired the lawyers that fought against the public educational board to desegregate schools. Although he passed away before the case Brown v. Board of Education, a man named Thurgood Marshall recognized Charles Hamilton Houston’s role by saying “there were some two dozen lawyers on the side of the Negroes fighting for their schools… of those lawyers, only two hadn’t been touched by Charlie Huston… That man was the engineer of all of it” (35). This is an important example of how this book attempts to get to core of the civil rights movement and the masterminds behind it. The book tries to explain the civil rights movement in a way that illuminates all of the people that were involved. The author also tries to inspire the reader by …show more content…
Williams wrote the book in approximately chronological order, highlighting the important parts of the civil rights movement that are not known to everyone. Each chapter builds on the one before leading up to Selma. Williams not only uses historical facts and events but he also uses interviews and excerpts from important civil rights leaders to provide a further insight into the leader 's of the civil rights movement point of view and their personal opinions to the events that took place. For example after the brutal death of James Chaney, Dave Dennis’ wrote in his eulogy for James Chaney “as I stand here I not only blame the people who pulled the trigger or did the beating or dug the hole with the shovel. I blame the people in Washington D.C. and on down in the state of Mississippi for what happened” (239). Williams uses these excerpts to tell how civil leader’s felt and reacted. Williams wants to show to the world today that black people knew racism and discrimination was deeper than individual people’s actions, they thought and knew it was embedded in the U.S. government. Williams wants to show how the people of the civil rights era thought and what mentality the leaders had. Another strategy the author uses is focusing on not only important events but Williams also writes on the states and cities that were key to civil rights movement. For example Williams focuses a full chapter on

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