Psychology of The Black Family

Black Like Me
by John Howard Griffin


In Black Like Me, the white author details his startling experiences as an African-American. He spent a month with his skin temporarily darkened through medication and UV light to find out for himself what life is like for an African-American and to expose his experiences.


Griffin’s wrote this book to tell whites about what they are doing to blacks. Griffin is a white reporter that would have had little hope of gaining true information from the blacks he interviewed. He knew that blacks in the south long learned that wisdom of telling the white man only what he wanted to hear and that was that blacks were always happy and that things were that bad. This was because blacks recognized the degree to which white men might go to preserve this comfortable ignorance, chose to cancel the facts of their misery rather than risk further repression. Plus, Blacks would be understandably suspicious of the motives of a white reporter asking then such question as Griffin, would have to ask to get in-depth information into Blacks life. What


Griffin hopes to achieve is enough information about the relationships between blacks and whites to write a book about it. The overall main obstacle is society, and the racial divide in the south with the whites. John begins his journey in New Orleans where he gets his first taste of what it is like to be black.


Griffin began his experiment in New Orleans on November 6, 1959. He faced many incidents of discrimination during the month, and experienced many emotions. When he called home he felt like an outsider, a stranger. He meets a shoe shiner named Sterling Williams who gives Griffin friendship, and the opportunity to be incorporated in the African American society. While in New Orleans, Griffin discussed race issues with other African Americans.


Griffin spoke about the feeling of being a child again. He felt his head he still sweat and it felt eh same as when he was white. He noticed everything still smelled the same and the stores seem to look the same too. But the differences were he had to remember to seat in the rear of the bus. He had to let whites by when passing on the streets.


One of his greatest discovers wad that is like being part of a new family blacks accepted him, black women even came on to him. Black community people accepted him as one of them, helping him find his was sharing their food. Griffin found that white treated him so much differently, he went into a store he always bough cigarettes from they just took his money and asked him to leave. When he was a white man they would stop and hold conversations with him.


He fleet very comfortable around blacks they treated him with respect and kindness. He said he had never encountered such are friendliness and kindness from strangers, he felt that was a chararetertic of almost all the blacks he meant. Griffin started to feel emotional acceptance inside himself, he started to refer to himself and Negroes are we and we. The discrimination Griffin faced was appalling, including reactions of anger and disgust on the sole basis of his skin color. Once, he was let off the bus 10 blocks past his stop because the driver refused to stop for a black man. Another time, he feared for his life when a young white man followed him in the dark, threatening and mocking him. No store would cash his travelers checks, fearing they were stolen. Griffin talks about an immense feeling of loneliness, because he felt no kinship with the person he saw in the mirror. He talks of feeling alienation and isolation from his race. HE felt that his feelings were rooted from the racism of his society. Such racism exist that he started to feel despise and repress for blacks. There seemed no end to the discrimination.


John was harassed by some white supremacists, while with Negroes, was treated with courtesies, even by strangers. When Griffin gets news that a white jury rejected a case of a black lynching,


Griffin decides to go to the heart of the Deep South, Mississippi to check it out. Even with