Black Like Me


John Howard Griffin

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Black Like Me: December 9-14, 1959 Summary & Analysis

After his time in Atlanta, Griffin decides to return to New Orleans one last time in his disguise, this time taking Don Rutledge along to take photographs. This proves rather difficult, since people find it strange for a white man to be photographing a black man in public, often assuming that Griffin must be some kind of celebrity. As such, Griffin and Rutledge pretend to be strangers, and Griffin simply sneaks into the frame while Rutledge acts like he’s taking a photograph of something else. When they finish, Griffin “resume[s] for the final time [his] white identity.”
Once more, Griffin experiences the division between the black and white communities, this time realizing that he can’t even go around and take pictures with Rutledge without attracting scorn from passerby.
Appearance, Identity, and Bigotry Theme Icon
Unity, Division, and Communication Theme Icon