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.
"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)
I never read the book but feel that they would have been on an equal par.
I found the very poor young man with his wife and children living in the forest to be my favourite character because I remember a young man in South Africa some years ago saying to my father that had he broken down in a rural area, he would have taken him in and given him what food he had and a place to sleep but it would not have been the same if the young man had broken down in a "white" area. I really found the whole situation the same as I had known it then.
I think that Ray Childs brought a good narrative voice and quality to the reading, which brought my imagination to life in many ways. His voice brought the whole situation to life.
Man's arrogance in thinking that he has the right to judge and see himself as superior to anyone.
I loved the book. For me it was a confirmation of what I thought was happening in America in that time period. I had also seen this in South Africa, and in later years as well until Mandela's government took over. I was able to see a lot through this book which I had only thought and believed happened.
I do feel like a bit of a lightweight reading about the experiences of African Americans from the point of view of a white guy. The book is sincere and sobering though and times painful to read. Like all good books it made me think, it made me reflect and at some level it changed my outlook on history, on the world and myself.
To a modern reader it does seem a little old fashioned. Politics have certainly moved on since the 50s. So you do have to bear in mind that this is a historical document and a very personal one.
Mr. Childs performance is excellent, especially his command of idiom, which adds a great deal of character to the recounted conversations.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed this book. It is amazing and inspirational! Loved it! I think the narrator did an OK job narrating, but there were times that I asked myself if he was in fact a computer reading, like Siri. But when the narrator changed his voice to read the dialogue, I was pleased by his "performance."
I read this book in the 1970s as a teenager. But now as an adult at nearly 60 years old I am able to see this book and what the author was trying to say so much more clear . The unfortunate thing is that the circumstances surrounding the black community has not changed . We are still in the same things , and at this time you doing without leadership
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