Black Like Me is the story of how John Howard Griffin, a white man, colored his skin black and traveled around the segregated, Jim Crow South in the late 1950s. The cover reads: “What was it like, really like to be black in the Deep South? Novelist John Howard Griffin darkened his skin and set out to discover by personal experience the night side of American life. This is his startling report.” Black Like Me has sold more than 10 million copies.
John Howard Griffin changed nothing but the color of his skin. However that was enough to almost get him killed. He was continually mistreated, called names, given hateful looks, and despised for nothing other than his darkened skin color.
This is a side of American history that has been played down, forgotten, or hidden in our day. Black Like Me brings to light the truth of American segregation, persecution, racism, and Jim Crow laws.
The experience changed Griffin and charged him up for justice and human rights. Afterward he became a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement. John Howard Griffin was a courageous and great American hero who is mostly forgotten in our day.
Read his book and you will be amazed how badly our country treated millions of its citizens for nothing more than skin color. But you will also be inspired by the love, courage, and commitment of a man who believed the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” enough to risk his life to personally learn about the racial injustice of our country. And after he learned about it, Griffin personally put his life on the line many times protesting for human rights in America.