Yesterday I finished reading “Black Like Me“, by John Howard Griffin, 1960 (2nd edition 1977). This book was suggested by an interesting gentleman who I’ve never actually met, The Bus Bandit. This book is one white Texan journalist’s journey through the Deep South as a black man. Through some skin creams, sun-lamps, and medication, this journalist managed to change his skin’s pigmentation enough for him to pass as a black man. He then travelled through Louisiana, Mississippi and other southern states, recording his experiences in a journal.
“Black Like Me” is a simple read; a high-schooler, or even a junior-high student, would have no trouble comprehending it. Heck, I bet it would do MOST people some good to read. Check your library, see if they have it, and then read it.
Here is a quote from the 2nd edition’s 1977 epilogue (italics added):
“…We led strange, hidden lives. We were advocating only one thing: that this country rid itself of the racism that prevented some citizens from living as fully functioning men and as a result dehumanized all men.
We were advocating only that this country live up to its promises to all citizens. But since racism always hides under a respectable guise—-usually the guise of patriotism and religion—a great many people loathed us for knocking holes in these respectable guises.”
|—||John Howard Griffin, from the epilogue of “Black Like Me”, 1960|
- and, from Feb 16, day 2262:
the duck flapped his wings,
shook his head, throwing water
in the morning’s light