Black Like Me


John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me: December 2, 1959 Summary & Analysis

Sepia magazine assigns Griffin to write stories about Atlanta, pairing him with the photographer Don Rutledge. However, because Rutledge won’t arrive for several days, Griffin visits a nearby Trappist monastery, where he basks in a feeling of equality and peace. Despite this respite from the constant racial tensions, though, he screams himself awake one night after having his recurring nightmare about white people closing in on him.
By this point in Black Like Me, Griffin has finished the majority of his experiment. However, it’s clear that the emotional effects of his experience as a dark-skinned man are too strong to simply disappear. Indeed, even in the tranquil atmosphere of the Trappist monastery, he can’t get over the feeling of constant terror to which he’s become so accustomed.
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