Saturday, May 29, 2010

Black Like Me



Nice to see you can find Black Like Me in Google books.  I was telling my daughter and son about the book, as I had read it back in high school.  I was surprised to see it was first published in 1962.  I thought it had come out much later.  Anyway, I think a book like this is appropriate when it comes to understanding how the "other half" lives in this country.  We still have this ridiculous tendency to view the racial issues as "economic," as if trying to deny the racism that remains a sore point in American society.

7 comments:

  1. A movie was made about it in 1964 but it bombed. Just a couple of years later as the Civil Rights movement snowballed in sized and strength, its message became more palatable for a lot of people. This is how the book and movie became more popular. Thereafter, it became must reading in schools.

    It's just too bad that this wasn't done in the northern cities as the experience for most black or Latin folks were not much different. I know from personal and family exprience.

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  2. It took a lot of guts to do what Griffin did at the time. I find it very sad how out of touch with reality most white persons are in America. They seem to think minorities are living off their taxes. It was no better in Boston or Chicago or even New York during the Civil Rights era. It just wasn't as clearly delineated.

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  3. I read the book in 7th grade the first time in 1967.One of the nuns at school pushed it on me and even at 12 it made a very lasting impression.Only read it once since then in college but I imagine it holds up.

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  4. I believe that John Howard Griffin spent some time darkening up in the home of Decherd Turner, librarian at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. A safe haven. Some few people were fortunate enough to have some small social encounters which, in those days, were always serious - we were dedicated to "doing the right thing," which included trying to integrate the lunch counter at the drug store across Hillcrest from the school (and a few other places). Also spent a lot of earnest hours trying to convince poor black people to pay their poll tax because I didn't think we'd ever be able to get rid of it. One of JHG's first appearances after publication of his book was at SMU, a very inspiring event.

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  5. Carol, great to have you drop in! I sent you another invite so that you can contribute posts as well. It might end up in your spam box.

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