Black Like Me-John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me-John Howard Griffin

In the book Black Like Me, the main character and the author, John Howard Griffin is a white journalist from Texas. To discover the life of black people as a journalist, John decides to change his skin colour to black by taking medication and travel around the Southern cities of the United States in the 1950s. Once his medication was complete, he decides to move around the southern part of the country. The first city he decides to go was Mississippi, one of the most racist cities in America in the 1950s. After traveling several cities the same way, he finishes his journey in Atlanta. At last, John decides to live as a white man again, and he realizes the innocence of the black people and the guilt of the white people making the black people feel guilty being black.

The most important theme in this book is racism.


Black Like Me By:John Howard Griffin

Plot Summary

Bob Marley:WAR

ForeshadowingIn the beginning of the book, the author turns himself into a black man. This foreshadows how the story will develope into how he will struggle in the white society as a black man.

SimileOnce the author has decided to go to Mississippi, people around him gives advise not to go to Mississippi. One man says "they will treat any negroe like a dog". This is a simile saying how badly black people are treated in the area the author decided to go to.

MetaphorAfter the author has completed his medication, the doctor says "a cold spell has hit New Orleans...". This is a metaphor saying something unusual that the white people don’t appreciate because the racism will be obvious (or not) after this “experiment”.

Litererary Features

・“How else except by becoming a Negro could a white man hope to learn the truth?”-Pg.1 John H. GriffinThis is an important quote because this foreshadows what possibly could happen in the novel. It also shows that the main character, John Griffin, is an interesting person who tries to understand what being a black person is like in the south during the 1950’s.・“At each stop, I sounded the buzzer, but the driver continued through the next two stops. He drove me eight full blocks past my original stop…”-Pg.44 John H. GriffinThis quote is important because this symbolizes racism. The bus driver did not let the main character go off the bus since he was black and the driver was white. ・“ ‘When we stop loving them, that’s when they win.’ ”-Pg.99 Black elderlyThis is an important quote from an elderly black men John Griffin met during his journey in Mobile, Alabama. He is a preacher, and this shows that the black people are proud of themselves, and even though they are considered second class citizens in the society, many black people themselves don’t think that way. This shows the black people's prespectives, which is what the author wanted to figure out when he decided to change his skin colour.

Key Quotes

This song directly relates to the theme racism because the song says he wants to end the wars over racism in Africa and how everyone should have equal rights not regarding to its skin colours.


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