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 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.
The experiment took place the year before I was born. I first read the book in my 20s and was mildly fascinated. Now 57yrs later, it appears we're right back where we began.
I really found it interesting (can't say that I LOVED it, as the segregation and racism was so prevalent throughout the story). This book is an unbiased first person account of what it was like to be a black man in a white society. I listened to this more for the learning aspect rather than to gain any enjoyment out of it.
I don't think that there is another book that is comparable to Black Like Me. I mean, he made his skin black to immerse himself and truly learn what it was like to be a black man at the time. Who does that? Just Mr. Griffin.
I'd have to really want to listen to a book to listen to another one that Ray Childs has narrated. I found his tone very, very dry and monotonous. Perhaps this is just the way that he narrated this particular book. I felt like I was in my college geology class listening to the teacher give a lecture at 8am. I had a hard time staying awake...
This may be silly, but I would have never imagined that anyone could take something to change the pigment of their skin so much as to appear to be a different ethnicity, especially back then. Craziness.
I really had a rough time finishing this book. The story was interesting but I seriously could not stand the narrator. I had to come back to it multiple times to complete it.
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."
"Excellent listening - great narration!"
Read this at school in the lates 70's. As a black pupil in a mainly black class I was really fascinated by the unusual storyline and was really anxious to get through to the end.I wasn't disappointed at all.Since rediscovering it, have recommended to others, black and white!
Don't miss it.
There is plenty of bleak humour in this book. One of the most grimly funny exchanges was when Griffin was discussing visiting a church and then in the same conversation asked where he could find the closest of the very few "black" toilets. The other man asked him if he wanted "to pray or to piss" and then observed that since there were so few such facilities available for the use of black people in town, he would spend most of his time "praying for a place to piss".
He read the narrative well.
It's a short book but couldn't be read properly in one sitting because there was too much to think about.
An important historical document, absorbingly well told.
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