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The Racism Room

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TSS Directory

Links related to BLACK LIKE ME by John Howard Griffin

General Links on Racism & Related Issues

Links Related to BLACK LIKE ME

1960 Time Magazine Report on "Black Like Me"

Photos of Griffin as Black and as White

James Gotten
A short story by Vickie Spencer...inspired by Black Like Me

NOTES on Black Like Me

About Black Like Me
Short Overview of Black Like Me

Preface to Black Like Me

Essay on Black Like Me
by Erin Carlson

About Black Like Me...from Sparknotes
---needs free login to click on dates

Context of Black Like Me

Study Guide of Black Like Me

Summary of Black Like Me

Still walking in another's shoes
Article about Black Like Me by Jay Copp
Special to The Christian Science Monitor
FEBRUARY 15, 2001

Josh Solomon's experiences as a "black" man
Experiences of a young man who tried to do the same thing as Griffin in the 1990's

High School Project on Black Like Me
9 & 10th graders provide very impressive treatment of BLM

'Man in Mirror' about 'Black Like Me'
Review of an excellent book written about Black Like Me and Griffin

Add your opinion/review of BLM online
Many interesting Reviews of BLM...some supportive, some not supportive

General Links on Racism & Related Issues

Ten Myths About Affirmative Action

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
by Peggy McIntosh

Racial Classifications in Latin America
by Zona Latina

American Pictures
by Jacob Holdt
Photos, articles, and other information about Racism and Poverty

Annual Conference on White Privilege
4th Annual coming up in April 2006

Racism in the English Language

The Geometer of Race

Skin Deep
Very interesting site about racism.

Seeing More than Black and White
Racism from the point of view of a Latino...a critique of seeing it in just black and white terms

Reverse Racism: How the Pot got to call the Kettle Black
Fine article in support of Affirmative Action...very critical

Whiteness Studies: Beyond the Pale
Interesting perspective on critically


Black Like Me is John Howard Griffinís journal account of his participant observation journey into the Deep South in 1959. Griffin, a white journalist from Mansfield, Texas who covered the Deep South states, wanted to find out what it was like to be black (a ďnegroĒ) in that area and the only way he could think of was to become a negro...literally. Through medications and ultra violet ray treatments, he darkened his skin sufficiently to pass as a negro and traveled in the same areas he had traveled in as a white man. Black Like Me is the book he wrote after his 28 day adventure was over.

This is a powerful book...even his and its detractors admit that. It covers so many areas germane to an Introductory Sociology class, not the least of which is racism itself. Yet, its a history book, too...taking people of today back to a time of overt segregation...enabling its readers to assess just how far we have or havenít come since then. It gives us a perspective on how social change takes place and the institutional restrictions impeding change. It shows us how, on the other hand, those very institutional patterns actually can and do change and how the micro level is connected to the meso and the macro levels. Then, last but not least, the book illustrates a compelling participant observation, a popular methodology in social research. Griffinís accounting of his ongoing reactions highlights the dangers and pitfalls of P.O. and at the same time illustrates the benefits of empathetically identifying with those one is studying.

To say the least, Black Like Me is one of those books which once started is hard to put down. It plays on almost all aspects of our humanity...but especially the emotions. Yet just as much, it makes one think and reflect about others and oneself on a level many donít achieve otherwise. Although there are those who donít like this book for their own variety of reasons, I believe that most readers would agree with me that Griffin was a truly courageous man who served his fellowmen well. Griffin passed away some years ago, but as long as this book is published and read, he will remain a living example of what a critical approach produces when seeking answers, not proof.

David H. Kessel