Griffin, John Howard: Black like Me

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BLACK LIKE ME Synopsis John Howard Griffin begins this novel as a white man on October 28th, 1959 and becomes a black man (with the help of a noted dermatologist) on November 7th. He enters black society in New Orleans through his contact Sterling, a shoe shine boy that he met in the days before starting the experiment. Griffin stays with Sterling at the shine stand for a few days to become assimilated into the society and to learn more about the attitude and mindset of the common black man. After one week of trying to find work other than menial labour, he leaves to travel throughout the Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas. November 14th, the day he decides to leave, is the day after the Mississippi jury refused to indict or consider the evidence in a kidnap-lynch murder case. He decides to go into the heart of Mississippi, the Southern state most feared by blacks of that time, just to see if it really have the wonderful relationship with their Negroes that they say they do. He knows it is a threat to his life if he remains in Hattiesburg because he is not a true Negro and does not know the proper way to conduct himself in the present situation. Griffin requests that one of his friends helps him leave the state as soon as possible. P.D. East, Griffin`s friend, is more than willing to help his friend out of the dangerous situation that he rots himself into and back to New Orleans. From New Orleans, he travels to Biloxi, Mississippi and begins hitch hiking ...

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