Black Like Me
John Howard Griffin
New edition with a foreword by Bernardine Evaristo
‘A brutal record of segregated America … essential reading’ Guardian
‘An anti-racist classic’ Bernardine Evaristo
In the autumn of 1959, a white Texan journalist named John Howard Griffin travelled across the Deep South of the United States disguised as a working-class black man. Black Like Me is Griffin’s own account of his journey.
Published in book form two years later it sold over five million copies, revealed to a white audience the daily experience of racism and became one of the best-known accounts of racial injustice in Jim Crow-era America. Embraced by some and fiercely criticised by others, its legacy sixty years on remains problematic, but Black Like Me nevertheless stands as a fascinating document of its times.
‘There is a saying among Negroes that no white man, no matter how hard he tries, can really understand what it’s like to be black in America. John Howard Griffin has come closer to this understanding than any white man that I know.’ Louis Lomax, Saturday Review
‘If it was a frightening experience for him as nothing but a make-believe Negro for sixty-six days, then you think about what real Negroes in America have gone through for 400 years.’ Malcolm X
Black Like Me awoke significant numbers of white Americans to truths about discrimination of which they had been unaware or had denied ... it remains powerful, revealing and moving. * Washington Post * Black Like Me revealed to white America - and Griffin himself - the indignities, abuse and threat of violence that black people had to put up with on a daily basis. * Black History 365 * One of the most extraordinary books ever written about relations between the races -- BBC Radio 4's 'The Today Programme' One of the most remarkable one-man social and psychological experiments in history ... it is worth reading what he wrote - and then reflecting on how far we have come. And how far we have to go. * BBC News * One of the most fascinating journalistic investigations carried out in the USA ... when Griffin described what he experienced, it awoke a vast section of the American public to what was happening in their country. * The Voice * A brutal record of segregated America ... essential reading * Guardian *
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