Black Like Me

by

John Howard Griffin

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John Howard Griffin Character Analysis

The author and protagonist of Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin is a white journalist who disguises himself as a black man to understand the experience of African Americans in the South during the late 1950s. A religious man and an active journalist, Griffin turns to George Levitan, the editor of Sepia magazine, for help with his endeavor. Although Levitan thinks the idea is crazy, he agrees to pay for Griffin’s expenses in return for a number of articles about the experience. Setting off from his home in Mansfield, Texas—and leaving behind his wife and small children—Griffin goes to New Orleans, where he stays with a friend without telling him what, exactly, he’s doing (he does this because he wants to protect this companion from any negativity that might come his way as a result of the project). Griffin consults a dermatologist in the city, and the doctor gives him medication that will darken his pigmentation. Before long, his skin is dark enough that he can pose as a black man, and he begins going around the city, speaking to black people, trying to find decent hotels, and enduring constant racism. An adventurous man, Griffin makes his way throughout the South, eventually visiting Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia before returning home as a white man and enduring threats from racists who want to harm him for “stir[ring]” things up. Nevertheless, Griffin doesn’t succumb to his fears, instead remaining true to his principles and continuing to work as a civil rights activist.

John Howard Griffin Quotes in Black Like Me

The Black Like Me quotes below are all either spoken by John Howard Griffin or refer to John Howard Griffin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of Black Like Me published in 1960.
Preface Quotes

This may not be all of it. It may not cover all the ques­tions, but it is what it is like to be a Negro in a land where we keep the Negro down.

Some whites will say this is not really it. They will say this is the white man’s experience as a Negro in the South, not the Negro’s.

But this is picayunish, and we no longer have time for that. We no longer have time to atomize principles and beg the question. We fill too many gutters while we argue unimportant points and confuse issues.

The Negro. The South. These are details. The real story is the universal one of men who destroy the souls and bodies of other men (and in the process destroy themselves) for reasons neither really understands.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: i
Explanation and Analysis:
October 28, 1959 Quotes

How else except by becoming a Negro could a white man hope to learn the truth? Though we lived side by side throughout the South, communication between the two races had simply ceased to exist. Neither really knew what went on with those of the other race. The Southern Negro will not tell the white man the truth. He long ago learned that if he speaks a truth unpleasing to the white, the white will make life miserable for him.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
October 29, 1959 Quotes

“You don’t know what you’d be getting into, John,” she said. She felt that when my book was published, I would be the butt of re­sentment from all the hate groups, that they would stop at nothing to discredit me, and that many decent whites would be afraid to show me courtesies when others might be watching. And, too, there are the deeper cur­rents among even well-intentioned Southerners, cur­rents that make the idea of a white man’s assuming nonwhite identity a somewhat repulsive step down. And other currents that say, “Don’t stir up anything. Let’s try to keep things peaceful.”

Related Characters: Adelle Jackson (speaker), John Howard Griffin
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
October 30, 1959 Quotes

“Do you suppose they’ll treat me as John Howard Griffin, regardless of my color—or will they treat me as some nameless Negro, even though I am still the same man?” I asked.

“You’re not serious,” one of them said. “They’re not going to ask you any questions. As soon as they see you, you’ll be a Negro and that’s all they’ll ever want to know about you.”

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
November 6, 1959 Quotes

I believe in the brotherhood of man. […] I respect the race. But I can never forget when I was an intern and had to go down on South Rampart Street to patch them up. Three or four would be sitting in a bar or at a friend’s house. They were apparently friends one minute and then something would come up and one would get slashed up with a knife. We’re willing enough to go all the way for them, but we’ve got this problem— how can you render the duties of justice to men when you’re afraid they’ll be so unaware of justice they may destroy you?—especially since their attitude toward their own race is a destructive one.

Related Characters: The Dermatologist (speaker), John Howard Griffin
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

He also told me things that Negroes had told him—that the lighter the skin the more trustworthy the Negro. I was astonished to see an intelligent man fall for this cliché, and equally astonished that Negroes would ad­vance it, for in effect it placed the dark Negro in an in­ferior position and fed the racist idea of judging a man by his color.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker), The Dermatologist
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
November 7, 1959 Quotes

All traces of the John Griffin I had been were wiped from existence. Even the senses underwent a change so profound it filled me with distress. I looked into the mirror and saw reflected nothing of the white John Griffin’s past. No, the reflections led back to Africa, back to the shanty and the ghetto, back to the fruitless struggles against the mark of blackness. Sud­denly, almost with no mental preparation, no advance hint, it became clear and permeated my whole being.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Mirror
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

My inclination was to fight against it. I had gone too far. I knew now that there is no such thing as a disguised white man, when the black won’t rub off. The black man is wholly a Negro, regardless of what he once may have been. I was a newly created Negro who must go out that door and live in a world unfamiliar to me.

[…]

I had tampered with the mystery of existence and I had lost the sense of my own being. This is what devas­tated me. The Griffin that was had become invisible.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Mirror
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
November 8, 1959 Quotes

I realized I was “going against the race” and the subtle tug-of-war became instantly clear. If the whites would not sit with us, let them stand. When they became tired enough or uncomfortable enough, they would eventually take seats beside us and soon see that it was not so poisonous after all. But to give them your seat was to let them win. I slumped back under the intensity of their stares.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

I learned a strange thing—that in a jumble of unin­telligible talk, the word “nigger” leaps out with electric clarity. You always hear it and always it stings. And al­ways it casts the person using it into a category of brute ignorance. I thought with some amusement that if these two women only knew what they were revealing about themselves to every Negro on that bus, they would have been outraged.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

An odd thing happened. Within a short time he lapsed into familiarity, forgetting I was once white. He began to use the “we” form and to discuss “our situa­tion.” The illusion of my “Negro-ness” took over so completely that I fell into the same pattern of talking and thinking. It was my first intimate glimpse. We were Negroes and our concern was the white man and how to get along with him; how to hold our own and raise our­ selves in his esteem without for one moment letting him think he had any God-given rights that we did not also have.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker), Sterling Williams
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

“Until we as a race can learn to rise together, we’ll never get anywhere. That’s our trouble. We work against one another instead of together. Now you take dark Negroes like you, Mr. Griffin, and me,” he went on. “We’re old Uncle Toms to our people, no matter how much educa­tion and morals we’ve got. No, you have to be almost a mulatto, have your hair conked and all slicked out and look like a Valentino. Then the Negro will look up to you. You’ve got class. Isn’t that a pitiful hero-type?”

“And the white man knows that,” Mr. Davis said.

“Yes,” the cafe-owner continued. “He utilizes this knowledge to flatter some of us, tell us we’re above our people, not like most Negroes. We’re so stupid we fall for it and work against our own. Why, if we’d work just half as hard to boost our race as we do to please whites whose attentions flatter us, we’d really get somewhere.”

Related Characters: The Café Owner (speaker), John Howard Griffin
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
November 10-12, 1959 Quotes

Our people aren’t educated because they either can’t afford it or else they know ed­ucation won’t earn them the jobs it would a white man. Any kind of family life, any decent standard of living seems impossible from the outset. So a lot of them, without even understanding the cause, just give up. They take what they can—mostly in pleasure, and they make the grand gesture, the wild gesture, because what have they got to lose if they do die in a car wreck or a knife fight or something else equally stupid?

Related Characters: The Café Owner (speaker), John Howard Griffin
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

They make it impossible for us to earn, to pay much in taxes because we haven’t much in income, and then they say that because they pay most of the taxes, they have the right to have things like they want. It’s a vicious circle, Mr. Griffin, and I don’t know how we’ll get out of it. They put us low, and then blame us for being down there and say that since we are low, we can’t deserve our rights.

Related Characters: The Café Owner (speaker), John Howard Griffin
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
November 14-15, 1959 Quotes

Would they see the immense melancholy that hung over the quarter, so oppressive that men had to dull their sensibilities in noise or wine or sex or gluttony in order to escape it? The laughter had to be gross or it would turn to sobs, and to sob would be to realize, and to realize would be to despair. So the noise poured forth like a jazzed-up fugue, louder and louder to cover the whisper in every man’s soul. “You are black. You are condemned.” This is what the white man mistook for “jubilant living” and called “whooping it up.” This is how the white man can say, “They live like dogs,” never realizing why they must, to save themselves, shout, get drunk, shake the hip, pour pleasures into bellies deprived of happiness.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
November 19, 1959 Quotes

You place the white man in the ghetto, deprive him of educational advantages, arrange it so he has to struggle hard to fulfill his instinct for self-respect, give him lit­tle physical privacy and less leisure, and he would after a time assume the same characteristics you attach to the Negro. These characteristics don’t spring from white­ness or blackness, but from a man’s conditioning.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:
November 21, 1959 Quotes

I concluded that, as in everything else, the atmos­phere of a place is entirely different for Negro and white. The Negro sees and reacts differently not because he is Negro, but because he is suppressed. Fear dims even the sunlight.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 101
Explanation and Analysis:
November 24, 1959 Quotes

The nightmare worried me. I had begun this exper­iment in a spirit of scientific detachment. I wanted to keep my feelings out of it, to be objective in my obser­vations. But it was becoming such a profound personal experience, it haunted even my dreams.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:
November 29, 1959 Quotes

I talked with some—casual conversa­tions here and there. They said they knew the Negroes, they had had long talks with the Negroes. They did not know that the Negro long ago learned he must tell them what they want to hear, not what is. I heard the old things: the Negro is this or that or the other. You have to go slow. You can’t expect the South to sit back and let the damned communist North dictate to it, especially when no outsider can really “understand.” I listened and kept my tongue from giving answer. This was the time to listen, not to talk, but it was difficult. I looked into their eyes and saw sincerity and wanted to say: “Don’t you know you are prattling the racist poison?”

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
December 1, 1959 Quotes

I was the same man, whether white or black. Yet when I was white, I received the brotherly-love smiles and the privileges from whites and the hate stares or obsequiousness from the Negroes. And when I was a Negro, the whites judged me fit for the junk heap, while the Negroes treated me with great warmth.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
December 4-7, 1959 Quotes

[…] the two economists, recognized that so long as the Negro had to depend on white banks to finance his projects for improvement and growth, he was at the mercy of the white man. They recognized that economic emancipa­tion was the key to the racial solution. So long as the race had to depend on a basically hostile source of financing, it would not advance, since the source would simply refuse loans for any project that did not meet with its approval.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
February 26 – March 14, 1960 Quotes

The news became known. I had spent weeks at work, studying, correlating statis­tics, going through reports, none of which actually help to reveal the truth of what it is like to be discriminated against. They cancel truth almost more than they reveal it. I decided to throw them away and simply publish what happened to me.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker), Griffin’s Wife
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
April 7 – 11, 1960 Quotes

Our townspeople wanted to “keep things peaceful” at all costs. They said I had “stirred things up.” This is laudable and tragic. I, too, say let us be peaceful; but the only way to do this is first to assure justice. By keeping “peaceful” in this instance, we end up consenting to the destruction of all peace—for so long as we condone injustice by a small but powerful group, we condone the destruction of all social stability, all real peace, all trust in man’s good intentions toward his fellow man.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker)
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:
August 17, 1960 Quotes

We had a long conversation during which he brought out the obvious fact that whites teach their chil­dren to call them “niggers.” He said this happened to him all the time and that he would not even go into white neighborhoods because it sickened him to be called that. He said revealing things:

“Your children don’t hate us, do they?”

“God, no,” I said. “Children have to be taught that kind of filth. We’d never permit ours to learn it.”

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker), The Boy Who Helps Griffin Clean (speaker)
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:

The most distressing repercussion of this lack of communication has been the rise in racism among Ne­groes, justified to some extent, but a grave symptom nevertheless. It only widens the gap that men of good will are trying desperately to bridge with understanding and compassion. It only strengthens the white racist’s cause. The Negro who turns now, in the moment of near-realization of his liberties, and bares his fangs at a man’s whiteness, makes the same tragic error the white racist has made.

Related Characters: John Howard Griffin (speaker), The Boy Who Helps Griffin Clean
Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
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Black Like Me PDF

John Howard Griffin Character Timeline in Black Like Me

The timeline below shows where the character John Howard Griffin appears in Black Like Me. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Unity, Division, and Communication Theme Icon
Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
“This may not be all of it,” John Howard Griffin begins. “It may not cover all the questions, but it is what it is like... (full context)
October 28, 1959
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
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The following question has haunted Griffin for a number of years: “If a white man became a Negro in the Deep... (full context)
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin believes it’s necessary to “become” a black man in order to fully understand what it’s... (full context)
October 29, 1959
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Having made the decision to disguise himself as a black man, Griffin drives to Fort Worth, Texas and meets with his friend George Levitan, the owner of... (full context)
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Griffin and Levitan agree that Sepia will pay for all of Griffin’s expenses in return for... (full context)
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Maintaining his resolve to go through with the plan, Griffin goes home and tells his wife, who agrees to look after their three children because... (full context)
October 30, 1959
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Griffin has lunch with Adelle Jackson and George Levitan, plus three Dallas FBI officers, since he... (full context)
November 1, 1959
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Griffin arrives in New Orleans, checks his bags at a hotel, and goes out to walk... (full context)
November 2, 1959
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The next morning, Griffin visits a dermatologist. After Griffin explains what he wants to do, the doctor excuses himself... (full context)
November 6, 1959
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Griffin follows his regiment for four days and visits the dermatologist for blood tests. Thankfully, the... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
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...destroy you?—especially since their attitude toward their own race is a destructive one.” In response, Griffin tells him that many black people he has spoken to are “aware of this dilemma”... (full context)
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In addition to his warning, the dermatologist also tells Griffin things he has heard from black people, like that lighter skin makes an African American... (full context)
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When Griffin isn’t spending his time under the sun lamp or in the dermatologist’s office, he walks... (full context)
November 7, 1959
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Griffin’s “treatment” doesn’t work quite as quickly as he originally hoped, but he decides that his... (full context)
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That afternoon, Griffin’s host looks up at him and says, “I don’t know what you’re up to, but... (full context)
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
After eating dinner, Griffin calls his family, but nobody answers. With nothing left to do, he shaves his head... (full context)
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Griffin’s first instinct is to “fight against” the experience of seeing himself as a black man.... (full context)
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Feeling a lack of “companionship” with the person he has “become,” Griffin ventures out into the streets at midnight with “enormous self-consciousness.” Passing a white man, he... (full context)
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A black man on the streetcar tells Griffin about a good hotel for African Americans, so Griffin gets off and makes his way... (full context)
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Griffin tries to fall asleep despite the loud noise of the streets. After a while, he... (full context)
November 8, 1959
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The next day, Griffin leaves the hotel and walks through the “ghetto,” which he sees in a different light... (full context)
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After leaving the café, Griffin boards a bus and sits in a seat “halfway to the rear.” Gradually, the bus... (full context)
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Because he originally started to stand up, the white woman looks at Griffin. At first, he thinks he senses “sympathy in her glance,” believing for a moment that... (full context)
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As Griffin sits silently in his seat, the woman talks to another white woman. Suddenly, Griffin hears... (full context)
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When Griffin gets off the bus, he visits Sterling Williams’s shoeshine stand. Sitting in the seat, he... (full context)
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Griffin works for the day with Sterling, noticing that white customers have “no reticence” or “shame”... (full context)
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At the end of the day, Griffin stands and prepares to walk to the Y, which is across town. Before he leaves,... (full context)
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In the coffee shop, Griffin tells A. L. Davis and Mr. Gayle that he’s a writer visiting the South “to... (full context)
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Going on, the café owner says, “Now you take dark Negroes like you, Mr. Griffin, and me. We’re old Uncle Toms to our people, no matter how much education and... (full context)
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After leaving the café and taking a nap, Griffin goes back into the night in search of dinner. As he walks, though, he becomes... (full context)
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When Griffin ducks into the alley, he stands against the wall and prays that the boy won’t... (full context)
November 10-12, 1959
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For the next two days, Griffin spends his time trying—unsuccessfully—to find work. Discouraged by his prospects, he speaks to the old... (full context)
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Griffin wonders aloud what might help people see beyond the hateful messages promoted by racists. “I... (full context)
November 14-15, 1959
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After a week of this project, Griffin realizes how emotionally exhausting it is to contend with racism on an everyday basis, even... (full context)
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In the bus station that night, Griffin tries to purchase a ticket to Hattiesburg. “What do you want?” the white woman at... (full context)
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When Griffin is finally on the bus, he sits in the back and listens to black people... (full context)
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Although Griffin tries to avoid interacting with Cristophe, he eventually has no choice but to acknowledge his... (full context)
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“I hate us, Father,” Cristophe says. “I’m not a Father,” Griffin replies, but Cristophe insists that he knows a priest when he sees one. “Look at... (full context)
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Griffin tells Cristophe that he can “always go back” to the church, but Cristophe merely says,... (full context)
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...driver comes on, as does a black man named Bill Williams, who sits next to Griffin and makes pleasant conversation, eventually offering him advice about how best to navigate through the... (full context)
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...the white people off, though, he blocks the door. However, Bill—who is in front of Griffin—quickly slides beneath the driver’s arm and strides away. “Hey, boy, where you going?” the driver... (full context)
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Upon the bus’s arrival in Hattiesburg, Bill helps Griffin find a place to stay and hails him a cab. After parting ways with his... (full context)
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Griffin in completely unsettled not only by the car of racists, but by Hattiesburg’s entire atmosphere.... (full context)
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Trying to stop feeling sorry for himself, Griffin takes on the voice of his supposed black identity, saying, “Nigger, what you standing up... (full context)
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Going back outside, Griffin seeks out barbeque food. When a woman working at the restaurant hands him his food,... (full context)
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Feeling as if “disaster” could strike at any moment Griffin gives up and calls the only person he knows nearby, a journalist named P.D. East.... (full context)
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When P.D. picks up Griffin, the two men ride side by side in the darkness, a strange awkwardness in the... (full context)
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Griffin notes that this “nameless” fear that “hangs over” Mississippi reminds him of what it was... (full context)
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After settling into P.D.’s house and spending time with his family, Griffin unwinds. Before long, P.D. gives him a manuscript of his memoir, The Magnolia Jungle and... (full context)
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Going into more detail about P.D. East’s downfall in white society, Griffin explains that P.D. was outspokenly against a bill “to levy penalizing fines against any church... (full context)
November 16, 1959
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P.D. takes Griffin to Dillard University—a black institution in New Orleans—to meet the dean. He then drops Griffin... (full context)
November 19, 1959
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On Griffin’s first day in Biloxi, he starts hitchhiking along the road, eventually getting into a car... (full context)
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After his ride with the redhaired driver, Griffin walks for a long time, trying to eventually make his way to Mobile, Alabama. That... (full context)
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Ride after ride, the drivers ask Griffin about his sex life. Sometimes these conversations become dangerous, as is the case when one... (full context)
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At one point, a young man picks Griffin up and begins speaking with an “educated flair.” Still, though, all of his questions have... (full context)
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Clearly excited by the fact that Griffin speaks “intelligently,” the young man pushes on, even asking “the size of Negro genitalia and... (full context)
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“You make it more complicated than it is,” Griffin tells the driver. “If you want to know about the sexual morals of the Negro—his... (full context)
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The next driver that picks Griffin up is a young man who looks tough and unforgiving but actually turns out to... (full context)
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Griffin arrives in Mobile, Alabama and meets a black man near the bus station. This man,... (full context)
November 21, 1959
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For three days, Griffin stays in Mobile and looks for work. Discouraged, he eventually asks the foreman of a... (full context)
November 24, 1959
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Hitchhiking between Mobile and Montgomery, Griffin gets a ride from a white man in a truck who has a shotgun leaning... (full context)
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Griffin is astounded by the driver’s “hypocrisy,” thinking about the many times he’s heard white people... (full context)
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As Griffin gets out of the truck, the driver says, “I’ll tell you how it is here.... (full context)
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That night, after having a jovial time with the black driver and his family, Griffin wakes up and realizes that he has been screaming. This is because he was having... (full context)
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In the bus station, Griffin buys a ticket for Montgomery and then goes to the bathroom, where he looks at... (full context)
November 25, 1959
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Griffin is pleased to see a prevailing attitude of courage and “resistance” amongst African Americans in... (full context)
November 27, 1959
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Feeling that “the situation in Montgomery” is quite “strange,” Griffin decides to “try passing back into white society.” This decision also has to do with... (full context)
November 28, 1959
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After taking the stain off his skin and dressing in low-contrast clothes, Griffin looks like a tan white man. Once he does this, he decides it’s “important to... (full context)
November 29, 1959
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In Montgomery, Griffin goes out of his way to speak to other white people, who tell him what... (full context)
December 1, 1959
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Unity, Division, and Communication Theme Icon
Griffin decides to alternate between presenting as white and presenting as black, keeping his stain and... (full context)
Unity, Division, and Communication Theme Icon
Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
After spending time in Montgomery, Griffin travels—disguised as a black man—to the Tuskegee Institute, a nearby black university. Near the school,... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Griffin again declines the drunk man’s invitation to have a drink, and the man starts to... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
The drunkard picks up on a sudden “resentment” that the turkey seller and Griffin now project toward him. As a result, he becomes angry. “Hell, no wonder nobody has... (full context)
Unity, Division, and Communication Theme Icon
Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Taking a bus to Atlanta, Griffin witnesses a moment of extreme tension as two white women board and can’t find a... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
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...that he has “revealed himself” by using the word “boy.” In the bus station bathroom, Griffin quickly wipes off the stain and becomes his white self once more. (full context)
December 2, 1959
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Sepia magazine assigns Griffin to write stories about Atlanta, pairing him with the photographer Don Rutledge. However, because Rutledge... (full context)
December 4-7, 1959
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
After returning to Atlanta and finishing his work with Don Rutledge, Griffin concludes that Atlanta “has gone far in proving that ‘the Problem’ can be solved and... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Griffin explains that two economists came to Atlanta twenty-five years ago and “recognized that economic emancipation... (full context)
December 9-14, 1959
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After his time in Atlanta, Griffin decides to return to New Orleans one last time in his disguise, this time taking... (full context)
December 15, 1959
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Back in Texas, Griffin is overjoyed to be home, though he also can’t banish terrible thoughts of bigotry from... (full context)
January 2, 1960
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
At an editorial meeting, George Levitan tells Griffin that he’ll only publish his story if he “insist[s].” “It’ll cause trouble. We don’t want... (full context)
February 26 – March 14, 1960
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
As Griffin’s story nears publication, people begin to find out about what he’s done. He even begins... (full context)
March 17 – 23, 1960
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin travels to New York for an interview with Time magazine. He then prepares for another... (full context)
April 1, 1960
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Griffin does a television show from his home in Mansfield. He feels as if his “local... (full context)
April 2, 1960
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin is awoken in the morning by a phone call from a newspaper in Fort Worth,... (full context)
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin decides to temporarily move his family to a friend’s house in Dallas. While driving down... (full context)
April 7 – 11, 1960
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Shortly after Griffin and his family go to Dallas, someone burns a cross “just above” their house at... (full context)
June 19 – August 14, 1960
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Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin is reassured by the many warm wishes he receives in the mail, which he believes... (full context)
August 17, 1960
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Fear and Violence Theme Icon
Griffin’s family has already left for Mexico, but he has stayed to wait for the racists’... (full context)
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Implicit Bias and Systemic Racism Theme Icon
Griffin suggests that one of the most “distressing repercussion[s]” of the “lack of communication” between whites... (full context)