I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (true) - This author is truly an incredible human being. While the nation was suffering from racial inequality, John Griffin medically altered his skin color from white to black and traveled the volatile deep south to view firsthand the treatment of Negroes. (That's what they were called back then.) He hitchhiked or traveled by bus, slept in run-down hotels or with people he met along the way. He was often refused service of food and drink, and many times had to walk miles across town just to find a place where he was allowed to use the restroom. He received verbal insults and "hate stares," and that's just while his skin was black. Upon resurfacing again as a white man, he began to tell the story of his experience. He was, again, mistreated by many people of his own race for sympathizing with the Negroes. He and his family received threats and were forced to leave their home.
Most of this book is about the actual experiences of John Griffin as a Negro in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas in, I believe, 1958. In the last hour or so he talks of how he tried to spread the story of what he observed and other efforts he made to improve the treatment of Negroes across America.
PERFORMANCE - Good job.
OVERALL - Interesting and educational story. No sex, violence or profanity. The real-life situations observed by Mr. Griffin are touching, but I didn't find them too emotionally charged to hear. Recommended for anyone interested in the subject matter.
The idea of becoming black to learn to learn about the racism was intriguing. I enjoyed listening to his experiences. I didn't want to stop listening. Side note: people still don't understand the only difference is the color of their skin.
It's an amazing read... at times I found it shocking! It's hard to believe John Howard Griffin, a white man, could've live his life as a black man, but he did. Truly, a thought provoking true story.
I picked this book up on a daily deal and although I found the actual book interesting, it was easy to say, yeah that was then. The epilogue gave me more insight into a world that I grew up in than I expected. I grew up in the 70's and 80's and can think back to that time and see a different perspective now. I think I will reflecting on this for some time to come.
This book was very eye-opening to see how far we have come in such a small amount of time. There is still work to be done but this proves with work progress can happen.
Meeting all kinds of prejudice.
I felt sorry for America. I never understood why this "land of the free" has such a hard time living up to that.
I found this extremely interesting and I very much enjoyed listening.
Yes, I have been offering to my book club members and every person of color who I am associated with in my personal and professional life.It was a Summer Reading for freshman at BSU in Muncie Indiana. I went to an all white school in Indianapolis. I do not recall much racism up to that point. Mostly encounters with Blacks were with two of the High Schools in Indy that had integrated and at sport events.
The author's experiences within the Black community as a Black stranger in the community seemed to be the same as in any white community. There were friendly people who helped, and good and bad example of members of the community. The BIG difference was how he was treated by the White community as a Black person. It opened my eye back then to what it was like to be treated as inferior without cause.I did pledge a Fraternity there and the racism was clearly present even among the athletes. Those uncomfortable moments were in the form of jokes and references to people I did not know.
Cared the story well and keep me involved.
The book is 35+/- years old. Black and White people should look at the facts in 1959 and compare them to now. We are making progress. Keep working toward Dr. King's dream.
The strife in the US today is heart breaking and show the road is long. Each incident that bring us closer to a understanding of the basic fact "we are all humans" and we are where we are and who we are because of what we have done so far.
Let's all commit to some improvement of the situation.
Yes. The narrator has a wonderful voice to listen to, and who can also do believable accents for the variety of characters in this true story.
This is a very thought--provoking book.
The courage of John Howard Griffin, a white journalist, to not only change his skin color physically, but his mental psychology by living as a Black man in some dangerous situations in the Deep South around 1960.
It was eerie at times to realize his awareness of being judged "solely by the color of his skin."
I felt as if I was inside his mind, experiencing everything first hand.
Ray Childs has a beautiful voice. He has obviously given great thought to how he phrases the sentences, and the quotes in the book. I know that his performance compelled me to keep listening, even during difficult scenes.
He also created believable accents for the variety of characters Griffin meets.
Childs' voice is very powerful. I believe that his narration was critical to the success of this production.
When Griffin was walking (as a Black man) up a lonely highway at night, he was offered a ride by a young black man, who offered him a place to stay with his family -- on the floor of his cabin.
It was located in a swampy area, there were several children, and it was obviously a very poor household. But inside that "poor" home, was warmth, love, kindness and sharing.
Griffin had bought some candy bars, and a few other snack type foods. The mother made some simple type of dish for dinner, and everything was shared. The children were well-behaved, but lively. It was a joyous evening for the children to have a visitor. On that night, Griffin's own family in Texas was celebrating the birthday of his 5 year old daughter.
When the children were to go to sleep for the night, they all hugged Griffin. It really affected him. He couldn't sleep. He thought of what a difficult life this family had, yet this family made the best of everything. It caused Griffin a lot of inner conflict over the unfairness of the circumstances.
Griffin felt enormous compassion for the situation of this Black family. It is a very touching scene.
It is one of many that truly touched my soul.
I was a young girl (9 years old in 1960) living in a suburb of Washington, DC, when the Civil Rights Movement began.
My family was middle-class Jewish. My mother and father had very mixed feelings about "Blacks."
I knew that in Washington, DC, there were wealthy blacks, who owned expensive homes, many of which were formerly owned by Jewish families. There were also many poor Black neighborhoods. The DC synagogues are now churches. I am not sure about who owns the better properties in DC now, but there are still many poor neighborhoods.
Griffin's book made me aware of some of the horrendous situations the Blacks endured in the Deep South, as well as racism that existed in the minds of both Blacks and Whites.
He took so many risks in publishing this book, not only for himself, but endangering his family. It is amazing that he lived once this story came out.
Wow! The main book itself was captivating; but, I really liked the epilogue written in 1976, 17 years after his experiment. It is still a valuable read today.