Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review: Black Like Me

Josh is often rather eccentric in his desires for various experiments or ideas of inventions and the like. I was not surprised, therefore, when he came home fascinated about a man who had taken medicine to darken his skin. I was also not surprised when he wanted to do the experiment as well. That was years ago, but just recently he came home with his book: "Black Like Me."

John Griffin was a white journalist living in the south (TX) in the 50s. A time and place (so I have heard) like no other, full of just laws and unjust actions. Sure, we know that now, but at the time the problem was hidden, ignored and covered up. The only way to know the truth was to walk in another man's shoes. That is just what this man did.

Black Like Me is his story. I will not give the plot away other than to say, "if you think you know (as a white person) what it is like to live as a black minority, read this book." If there was not the threat of liver damage from the medication, I would seriously consider going through the same process to find out the truth of what things are like in my own town. No, this is not the deep south in the 1950s nor is it an area touched hardly at all by that part of our country's history. But it was only a generation ago. And I am certain now that I do NOT understand.

*Note: this book does contain disturbing language such as racial slurs, profane language and use of the N. word.


"We returned to Mansfield, deciding to hide away no longer...Our townspeople wanted to "keep things peaceful" at all costs. They said I had "stirred things up." This is laudable and tragic. I, too, say let us be peaceful; but the only way to do this is first to assure justice. By keeping "peaceful" in this instance, we end up consenting to the destruction of all peace -- for so long as we condone injustice by a small but powerful group, we condone the destruction of all social stability, all real peace, all trust in man's good intentions toward his fellow man." -Griffin, Black Like Me

Have you read this book? What did you think?

7 comments:

alpidarkomama said...

Haven't read it but I'm going to request it from the library now. :)

Mainely Me said...

I started it last night!

corrin said...

I read this in high school and thought it really is a book that everyone should read

Janine the Bean said...

Can I borrow it?

The Six of Us said...

Mom beat you to it.

Marie said...

Loved it. So did Jeremy. Made a big impression on both of us.

Sheri said...

Oh Josh! I would have a hard time explaining a black son that WASN'T adopted!!! Didn't surprise me a bit though that you would want to try it!!!
I heard about the book a while back and would like to read it. Maybe send a copy with Brett?....