My Personal Reflection on Howard Griffin’s Book Black Like Me

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

Black like me is a nonfiction book which was written by Howard Griffin, who was a junourist from Mansfield, Texas. Griffin uses the book to explain his journey towards deep south of united states when most of the African American was subjected to racial segregation by the whites. Although the author was a native American, he decides to change his skin color to fix himself in the Africa-Americans shoes and reveal the kind of hostility they are facing from the natives. By virtual of him temporarily changing the color of the skin he was subjected to great racism, even on the public places which were supposed to be used by everyone. Despite this racial discrimination acts, he uses is journey experiences to educate the community on the type of racism subjected to African American people by the euro ethnic groups.

Description and Overview of the Book

The book black like me, is mostly based on racial segregation subjected to African American by the natives, Howard Griffin sets his journey to do his experiment about racism subjected to American African so as to publish the act in the magazine. When he sets everything in order he ultimately seeks for a dermatologist who darkens his skin so that he looks exactly like an American African person. additionally, he used to sit on the front of sunlamps and taking some special medicine administered to him by a dermatologist so that his skin will change from white to black. He even went to an extent of cutting off his hair and started to wearing black glasses to cover his eyes to hide his identity from American African and natives

After everything is done Griffin sets his way to the black part of the town, where he started to freak out, since he had changed everything and he was subjected to a new environment with new group of people who were considered to have pre-civic rights. Then Griffin sets out for New Orleans where he began his life as a black man creating good contact with the black people ready to explore the community. By Griffin being black person, the life was so hard in a way that he could not expect; he could not go in the same bathroom with the whites before he his reminded that he is a second-class citizen who is infectious. He faced many types of racism such as, denied right of voting, oppression, and other hardships all because of skin color. This made Griffin to feel as if he had lost his identity, since wherever he was walking the word nigga was a common term referred to him. In order to acquire more detailed information about racism, he ventured deep South of Mississippi and Alabama, but the situation was much worse for the black whereby he becomes disheartened and exhausted when he saw how hapless blacks were. Withal, when the experiment is over Griffin decides to change his skin color back to white. This act did not augur well, because when the news of his experiment gets outs, the whole community turns against him and his life was threatened making him to flee to Mexico with his family.

My Personal Reaction

To me racism is an inhuman act which should be highly punishable by the law. However, Griffin should be apologized by the government of United State, because of what happened to him and when citizens threatened his life because researching for truth. Additionally, Griffin should be rewarded and be accredited great respect because he risked his life and money for the sake of the minority community, which himself was not a member, as result he endures all the pain of insults and being referred as a second-class person with pre-civic rights as a way of looking for justice of a community. Besides through his courageous acts’ readers can now understand the kind problems American African were subjected to. More so discriminations acts should be dealt with it ruthlessly and all citizen to treated equally despite the skin color or origin since sometimes racism can result to, clashes, deaths and states wars, and other losses.

Main Themes

Theme of hypocritical, this is the theme which shows how natives officials and other administrators pretend that they are not aware of racism in America, while they are practicing it and promoting it indirectly.

The theme of racism, this is the central theme in the book Black Like me, which explains all evils African American are subjected to by native Americans because of their race or origin.

The theme of black community, this is the theme which broadly explains what black community (African American) are, problems they are facing and in addition the title of the book itself is about black race, Black Like Me.


Read more