Cover image for
Title:
Black like me
Author(s):
Griffin, John Howard, 1920-1980.
ISBN/ISSN:
0451192036

0452277663
Edition:
Thirty-fifth anniversary edition / with an epilogue by the author and a new afterword by Robert Bonazzi.
Physical Description:
192 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
Additional paperback copies maybe available ; ask at desk.

Originally published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1961.
Reading Level:
990 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 7.0 11.0 730.
Lexile Number:
990 Lexile.
Pub Date:
Signet, [1996]
Holds:

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

The 5,000,000 copy bestseller of life in the black ghettos of America - written by a white man! This shocking book is a first hand account of the story of a man who underwent a series of medical treatments to change his skin colour temporarily to black. His purpose was to try and find out what it was like to be a black man in America.


Author Notes

John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) is known internationally as the author of two novels, Nuni and The Devil Rides Outside , five books and monographs on racism in addition to Black Like Me , a biography of Thomas Merton , three collections of photography, a volume of journals, two historical works on Texas, a musicological study, and The John Howard Reader . Born in Dallas, Texas, and educated in France, he served in the U.S. Air Force in the South Pacific, where an injury he received during a Japanese bombardment eventually resulted in the complete loss of his sight. In the 1950's he converted to Catholicism, married, and raised a family. In 1957, (after ten years of blindness) he miraculously regained his sight.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Griffin's (The Devil Rides Outside) mid-century classic on race brilliantly withstands both the test of time and translation to audio format. Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discriminations" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. Griffin imparts the hopelessness and despair he felt while executing his social experiment, and professional narrator Childs renders this recounting even more immediate and emotional with his heartfelt delivery and skillful use of accents. The CD package includes an epilogue on social progress, written in 1976 by the author, making it suitable for both the classroom and for personal enlightenment. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Choice Review

In print continuously in various editions since its original publication in 1961, Black Like Me is the extraordinary story of Griffin, a white Texan who in 1959 took some capsules (prescribed by a dermatologist), exposed himself to ultraviolet light under a sunlamp, and stained his skin to make himself appear darker. In this condition, he traveled in the Deep South and "passed" as black for a month, experiencing what it was like to be perceived and treated as a black man. Griffin sought work, but was always told there was nothing for him. He confided his secret to a shoeshine man in New Orleans, who helped him. As a "black" man, Griffin was denied service at hotels and restaurants, denied a drink of water at white establishments, not permitted to use restrooms. In every instance, he had to find a facility for "Negroes." One white man asked him to expose himself so that he could satisfy his curiosity about the legendary size of black men's genitalia. Other whites inquired about black sexuality or boasted to him of exploits with black women. Griffin's account confirmed that blacks endured debasing, second-class treatment. An important and classic work, well deserving of this new edition. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All public/academic levels/libraries. W. Glasker Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden


Library Journal Review

This hardcover reprint is being released to mark the 45th anniversary of the Caucasian Griffin's experiment to experience life as a black man in the American South. Dubbed the "Definitive Griffin Estate Edition" by the publisher, this version includes new material from the late author, a foreword by Studs Terkel, an afterword by biographer Robert Bonazzi, and several new photos. Though the book is not out of print, collections needing a new copy should go with this one. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-John Howard Griffin's groundbreaking and controversial novel about his experiences as a white man who transforms himself with the aid of medication and dye in order to experience firsthand the life of a black man living in the Deep South in the late 1950s is a mesmerizing tale of the ultimate sociological experiment. Ray Childs' narration is both straightforward and deeply satisfying. A skilled reader, he incorporates different dialects to help listeners distinguish among the various characters. His ability to convey a full spectrum of emotions, including exhilaration, bone deep sadness, and gut wrenching fear is riveting. Equally fascinating is Childs' description of how Griffin's unheard of approach to studying racial discrimination changed his personal life and ignited a storm of argument and discussion around the nation. This recording deserves a place in every public library collection.-Cindy Lombardo, Tuscarawas County Public Library, New Philadelphia, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Writer JOHN HOWARD GRIFFIN (1920-1980) decided to perform an experiment in order to learn from the inside out how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on them by another race. Through medication, he dyed his skin dark and left his family and home in Texas to find out. The setting is the Deep South in the late 1950's. What began as scientific research ended up changing his life in every way imaginable. When he decided the real story was in his journals, he published them, and the storm that followed is now part of American history. Excerpted from Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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