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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 (891 )
5 star
 (533)
4 star
 (229)
3 star
 (109)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.5 (679 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (675 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Sandra Bristol, United Kingdom 06-21-13
    Sandra Bristol, United Kingdom 06-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    3
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    "Discrimination in any form is totally unacceptable"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black Like Me to be better than the print version?

    I never read the book but feel that they would have been on an equal par.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What does Ray Childs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Man's arrogance in thinking that he has the right to judge and see himself as superior to anyone.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Fraser NYC 09-14-15
    Simon Fraser NYC 09-14-15 Member Since 2010

    Draws comics

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fascinating first hand account"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sao83 Oregon 03-05-15
    sao83 Oregon 03-05-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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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
  •  
    Hali 02-12-15
    Hali 02-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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
  •  
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 07-21-12
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 07-21-12 Member Since 2006

    k11923

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Amy Worrell 06-14-16
    Amy Worrell 06-14-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing Book"

    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."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms JVJ 05-29-16
    Ms JVJ 05-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "REVIST"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelly smith 04-11-16
    kelly smith 04-11-16
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    "4 out of 5 stars!"

    narrator was fantastic but the story line was a but redundant. I did enjoy it thoroughly though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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