Black Like Me Background

Black Like Me Background

Black Like Me is a non-fiction book written by John Howard Griffin who was a journalist. He is a white American who travels on the racially segregated buses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and poses as a black man. The book revolves around John Howard Griffin, who artifically darkened his skin under the care of a doctor to pass as a black man in order to experience the racially segregated states of America and its buses himself. The book documents his journeys on the buses and the hate he received from white citizens whilst posing as a black man. Most people did not recognise him and he had to tell a former friend who he was and point out his odd shoes in order for him to recognise him. In one event in the book, he gave up his seat to a white woman on the bus but was given glaring looks by black passengers and the white woman actually insulted him.

The book was written by the author to document his travel journeys on the segregated buses whilst posing as a black man and to show the wider public the horros and hatred that black citizens faced. The book was written at a time when race relations in America were very strained and so the author wrote this book in order to ease the racial tensions.

The book was well-received by fans and readers and many readers sent the author letters of support. Griffin actually received threats from those who were hostile towards his actions of passing as a black man but despite his he became a somewhat celebrity of his time for his actions.

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