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Black Like Me Audiobook

Black Like Me

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Publisher's Summary

Writer John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) decided to perform an experiment in order to learn from the inside out how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on it by another race. Through medication, he dyed his skin dark and left his family and home in Texas to find out.

The setting is the Deep South in 1959. What began as scientific research ended up changing his life in every way imaginable. When he decided the real story was in his journals, he published them, and the storm that followed is now part of American history.

As performed by Ray Childs, this first-ever recording of Black Like Me will leave each listener deeply affected. John Howard Griffin did the impossible to help bring the full effect of racism to the forefront of America's conscience.

©1960, 1961, 1977 John Howard Griffin; renewed 1989 Elizabeth Griffin-Bonazzi, Susan Griffin-Campbell, John H. Griffin, Jr., Gregory P. Griffin, and Amanda Griffin-Sanderson; (P)2004 Audio Bookshelf; Recorded by arrangement with New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

What the Critics Say

"No one can read it without suffering." (Dallas Morning News)
"Only the coldest of hearts could be unaffected by this story, told with dignity and warmth, conviction and steadfast honesty. Audiobooks like this can help heal wounds and open minds about racism, an issue our nation still struggles with." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1011 )
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Performance
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  •  
    AudioAddict 08-30-15
    AudioAddict 08-30-15

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I can't believe he actually did this!"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sao83 Oregon 03-05-15
    sao83 Oregon 03-05-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Not a history buff"

    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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aurora Leos Orange County, CA USA 05-28-13
    Aurora Leos Orange County, CA USA 05-28-13

    Artist/writer

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    "In a word: POWERFUL! ~ A must read!"

    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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen 09-03-15
    Kathleen 09-03-15 Member Since 2008
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    "The epilogue is even more thought provoking"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hali 02-12-15
    Hali 02-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Book!"


    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 02-20-12
    Margaret 02-20-12 Listener Since 2008
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    "Enlightning"
    Where does Black Like Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of my better listens


    Which character – as performed by Ray Childs – was your favorite?

    great narration my favorite character was the shoe shine man .


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Brooklyn, NY, United States 12-11-11
    Janet Brooklyn, NY, United States 12-11-11
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    "Required for History class, but I loved it!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black Like Me to be better than the print version?

    Better to those who have no time to read it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Black Like Me?

    The start of the story with a poem was very unusual with a lot of feelings from the narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Oh yes, but it is too long.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for having it available.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 07-21-12
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 07-21-12 Member Since 2006

    k11923

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    "Very interesting experiment"
    What made the experience of listening to Black Like Me the most enjoyable?

    Meeting all kinds of prejudice.


    What about Ray Childs’s performance did you like?

    Nothing special.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I felt sorry for America. I never understood why this "land of the free" has such a hard time living up to that.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this extremely interesting and I very much enjoyed listening.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 09-26-16
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 09-26-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Interesting Premise"

    I loved the premise of this book, and would have given it four starts except that parts of it seemed to drag a bit for me. It astounds me to think that in some ways, we have moved very little from the 1960s; the only difference is that the discrimination is not as overt as it once was as people have learned to hide their biases. A particularly interesting point the author made was when he got rides from White strangers at night, and he notes that in the darkness and anonymity, these people weren't afraid to let their prejudices show. That is no different than people spewing hate on social media today, behind the anonymity of user names. This was a unique and dangerous project for the time period, and I appreciate the fact that the author did this to expose the prejudices and culture of that era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-25-16
    J Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-25-16 Member Since 2003
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    "Ball State University (BSU) Summer Project 1965"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black Like Me to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Ray Childs’s performance did you like?

    Cared the story well and keep me involved.


    If you could give Black Like Me a new subtitle, what would it be?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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