The issue of racism in our society has declined in recent years, but in the past it has been one of the most embarrassing episodes in U.S. history. There is only one way to show the situation that existed in the 1950?s and 1960?s and John Griffin does a great job of proving this. In the novel, Black Like Me, a white journalist disguises himself as a black and travels through the south in an effort to experience first hand evidence of what it was like to be a minority in that area.
In the 1959, John Griffin used medical treatments to change the color of his skin. On his last visit for the treatment of his skin, the doctor told him, ?Now you go into oblivion (pg. 14).? This statement was nothing but the truth because he looked exactly like a real Negro. He then set out on an odyssey traveling through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, as a white man traveling as a black man in order to find out by experience what it was like "to be a Negro in the Deep South (pg. 1)." He experiences how, many freedoms and rights that he enjoyed as a white are now forbidden to him.
He learns becoming a Negro is something unimaginable as well as very painful to experience. He is subjected to the stinging "hate stare," from whites, even when he asks for simple things such as water, or a bathroom. He is sometimes denied of these things completely. He also suffers deep despair and hopelessness when he cannot get a job and earn a living. The only work available is manual labor.
The following are some examples of the racial discrimination and dilemmas he runs into. When he is searching for a hotel room to stay in, they put him in a room with no windows. The bathroom is not maintained because the sink is broken, so you can?t even wash your hands. He arrives in a town and learns from a local Negro that Negroes aren?t allowed to use the beaches. The blacks find this even more absurd because the money that they pay for gasoline is us...