Black Like Me Quotes by John Howard Griffin
The white man who pretended to be black
Please refresh the page and retry. But some of the apparent triumph of black civil rights is a veneer. Attitudes that are hard to change because of the gulf of understanding between different communities. Can a white person ever really understand how a black person sees the world? Back in , six years before Martin Luther King marched for civil rights in Selma, one man tried. Griffin took oral medication and was bombarded with ultraviolet rays; he cut off his hair to hide an absence of curls and shaved the back of his hands.
Griffin described his experience of racism in the best seller Black like Me The book—which detailed countless incidents of hatred, suspicion, and hostility toward Griffin, who was by all appearances African American—sold more than a million copies and later became a motion picture During a year period of blindness that ended before he traveled in the Southern states in , Griffin published two spiritual novels: Devil Rides Outside and Nuni His last book, A Time to Be Human , was published in John Howard Griffin. Info Print Cite.
The Remarkable Story of John Howard Griffin
In the fall of , a white writer from the American South shaved his head, darkened his skin and spent the next six weeks on an odyssey, travelling from New Orleans through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia as a black man. He wrote of his experience in Black Like Me , published in , and the book became a clarion call to many who had previously turned a blind eye to racism in America. An extraordinary man, John Howard Griffin packed a lot of living into a relatively short life. Born on June 16, , John Howard Griffin was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, at a time when even his well-meaning, Christian family who were otherwise kind, if paternalistic considered black people to be inferior. Griffin was a gifted child, and between his truly exceptional memory and perfect pitch, he was admitted into a French boarding school at the age of 15, where he was shocked to see that black students not only attended classes with whites, but patronized the same public places like cafes as well. It had never occurred to me to question it. In France, Griffin trained as a musicologist, specializing in Gregorian chant.
But that man had been white. This man was brown-skinned. Rag in hand, the shoeshine man said nothing until the hulking man spoke. John Howard Griffin had embarked on a journey unlike any other. Many black authors had written about the hardship of living in the Jim Crow South. A few white writers had argued for integration. But Griffin, a novelist of extraordinary empathy rooted in his Catholic faith, had devised a daring experiment.