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?