Black Like Me


John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me: April 1, 1960 Summary & Analysis

Griffin does a television show from his home in Mansfield. He feels as if his “local situation” is “odd,” since he has “no contact with anyone in town.” Nevertheless, he knows that everyone has been talking about him, debating whether or not what he did was a “Christian” thing to do.
Even though the entire country is busying talking openly about Griffin and what he’s done, he finds that his “local” community refrains from interacting with him. In this way, he is cut off from any kind of communication with the people surrounding him, effectively shunned because nobody is willing to face him directly to discuss the implications of his project. This, it seems, is the same kind of reticence and unwillingness to talk about difficult matters that enables racism to sustain itself in the first place.
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