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,
For example, when he is staying overnight in the first hotel room and enters the bathroom. The white men except and he finds out later that the only reason they did is because they want to discuss a Negros sexual life. In his own hometown, some white racists hang his effigy on the main street. Then he learns that they burn a cross at the Negro school near his home, to terrorize the Negroes. He is sometimes denied of these things completely. When he is searching for a hotel room to stay in, they put him in a room with no windows. They help him pull through his moments of agony and give him advice as well as help. 63) John says no and the bus driver says, Then you get !your ass back in your seat and dont you move till we get to Hattiesburg (pg. John Griffin realizes through these experiences the grim and startling truth of the life of a Negro. In the novel, Black Like Me, by John Griffin, the effects of national racism are shown through an experiment. All of these kind acts by sensitive whites, helps to bring forward more respect for the blacks in the long run and leads to the civil rights movement. Racism has a great cost on our nation as a whole and no one profits from it. Some of these blacks share with him food and shelter, even when he is a total stranger. He arrives in a town and learns from a local Negro that Negroes arent allowed to use the beaches. He wants to wash his hands, but a black gentleman tells him that the sink is broken and he says to a man in the shower, Hey, how about stepping back and letting this gentleman wash his hands (pg.