Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin is a Multicultural story set in the south around the late 1950’s in first person point of view about John Griffin in 1959 in the deep south of the east coast, who is a novelist that decides to get his skin temporarily darkened medically to black. What Griffin hopes to achieve is enough information about the relationships between blacks and whites to write a book about it. The overall main obstacle is society, and the racial divide in the south with the whites. John begins his journey in New Orleans where he gets his first taste of what it is like to be black. He meets a shoeshiner named Sterling Williams who gives Griffin friendship, and the opportunity to be incorporated in the African American society. While in New Orleans, Griffin discussed race issues with other African Americans. John was harassed by some white supremacists, while with Negroes, was treated with courtesies, even by strangers. When Griffin gets news that a white jury rejected a case of a black lynching, Griffin decides to go to the heart of the deep south, Mississippi to check it out.

Even with the risk of his life, Griffin decides to take a bus to Hattiesburg into the deep south to check out the lynching case. At the bus station, Griffin acquired “hate stares” from many whites on the benches waiting for their buses. Griffin boarded the bus, and during the trip he conversed with a man named Christophe, and when the white passengers got off the bus during the rest stop, the bus driver prevented the Negro passengers from departing. The Negroes were about to urinate all over the bus, but they decided it would just be another thing for the whites to hold against blacks. They arrived in Hattiesburg and John took a cab to a hotel to rest. In the hotel, Griffin tried to write a letter to his family, but there were too many things blocking his mind. Afterwards, Griffin called P.D. East, a white friend who writes in a black newspaper in Mobile and visited his family for a while. Continuing his trip to Montgomery, he covered a long distance with the help from passing white drivers (some were perverted) who gave him rides during the night time. When Griffin was kicked off the car, he was left a far distance from everything. He reached a small convince store on the road, in which the owners would not let him in until he begged them. As he walked on, a young black male offered him a ride and a place to sleep in his house with his wife and six children. Later that evening, Griffin had a reoccurring nightmare about white men and women, with their faces of heartlessness staring at him. As Griffin was about to leave, he tried to give money to the family for his gratitude, but they would not accept it, so he just left the money there. Griffin then hitchhiked to a small bus station and bought a ticket to Montgomery. When he got to Montgomery, he called his wife and children and then changed back to white. Griffin also witnessed a skirmish on the bus when 2 blacks would not move into 1 seat, so a white women could sit down. A large white man was about to hurt someone, but the white women told him to stop. Griffin had enough of this and changed back to white in the station restroom. Afterwards, he called the Sepia ( A News Paper ) editors and made an appointment for a story in New Orleans with a photographer. After the story was done, he flew to Mansfield as a white man to be in an editorial conference. Then Griffin flew to Hollywood for a TV show, New York for an interview in Time magazine and many other places for stories. Griffin’s mother started to get hate calls from some of the people in town, and the Griffins got police surveillance on their house just in case.

When Griffin was kicked off the car, he was left a far distance from everything. He reached a small convince store on the road, in which the owners would not let him in until he begged them. As he walked on, a young black male offered him a ride and a place to sleep in his house with his wife and six children. Later that evening, Griffin had a reoccurring nightmare about white men and women, with their faces of heartlessness staring at him. As Griffin was about to leave, he tried to give money to the family for his gratitude, but they would not accept it, so he just left the money there. Griffin then hitchhiked to a small bus station and bought a ticket to Montgomery. When he got to Montgomery, he called his wife and children and then changed back to white. Griffin also witnessed a skirmish on the bus when 2 blacks would not move into 1 seat, so a white woman could sit down. A large white man was about to hurt someone, but the white women told him to stop. Griffin had enough of this and changed back to white in the station restroom. Afterwards, he called the Sepia (A News Paper) editors and made an appointment for a story in New Orleans with a photographer. After the story was done, he flew to Mansfield as a white man to be in an editorial conference. Then Griffin flew to Hollywood for a TV show, New York for an interview in Time magazine and many other places for stories. Griffin’s mother started to get hate calls from some of the people in town, and the Griffins got police surveillance on their house just in case.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

avatar
wpDiscuz