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Black Like Me Audible – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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By Alex Malinovich on June 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked this up completely on a whim after hearing someone mention it online. It is absolutely an amazing work. To really get a feel for how far this country has come in 50 short years, and to really understand how far we have left to go, you need to read this.

As a white male, I've always been offended by the term 'white privilege', because it implies that I somehow didn't work for what I have. But having read this, I can finally appreciate it. My 'white privilege' has nothing to do with me not working hard and not deserving the things that I have accomplished. I have worked hard, and I do deserve those things.

But these are things that blacks never had the opportunity to do. No matter how smart they were, no matter how well dressed, or well spoken, no matter how *white* they tried to appear to blend in, they would never be given the opportunity to prove themselves on their own merits. Their opportunities were taken away before they ever had a chance to even attempt to do grab them.

And while I can definitely appreciate how far we have come in a relatively short time, I am now able to see with a fresh new perspective the things that are still wrong with our thinking today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin should be required reading for America. It challenges and troubles the reader. Mr. Griffin's bravery in embarking upon such a strange quest is most appreciated yet puzzling. The information he gleaned about the deeper aspects of African-American life in racially-divided America is on target. Instead of glossing over the realities of the plight of a brown-skinned person in America, he confronted it head on. I wonder if I will ever see an America that could read and discuss such a book with a deep desire to understand another person's world?
Barbara Peters, Author (Adulterous Heart ISBN:978=1442188105)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this hard cover version of the book. The cover is helpful to remember when reading. And this version has a number of pictures in the middle that current paperbacks do NOT have that really give insight into the reality of the story. Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in the 70's while in high school. It has to be one of the best books I have ever read. And the book that made me appreciate the life long work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I am a white woman who was raised in the coal regions of Pennsylvania. At the time there were no people of color (any color) in my small town. Most were of Irish/German/Polish ancestry. I never saw any form of racism UNTIL I picked up this book.

This book opened my eyes and made me understand a LITTLE bit of what life was like during the 50's and still are like for some to this day. We need to take a lesson from this man. If I could I would give this book 1000 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A previous reviewer suggested that this book should be required reading in high school. When I was in high school in the '60's, it was required reading for my class. I don't recall much about that year high school any more, but I remember this book. I couldn't put it down then, and although I haven't re-read it in all these years, I still think about it to this day. That is the mark of an incredible book. Read this book and allow it to seep into your pores. It will change you forever. And I WILL be re-reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read Black Like Me, many years ago, while I was in high school, living in Canada. It touched me deeply at the time and now, reading it again in this new edition, it touched me, even more deeply; reading with an adult's perspective.

What came to mind as I finished reading this book today was, the incredible and hard-to-imagine courage that John Howard Griffin showed, in taking on this project. He certainly could have been killed and did endure injury and repeated threats to himself and to his family because of what he did.

I found the additional information about Griffin's life, fascinating too. I did not realize that he was blind for 10 years, earlier in life and also that he died at the early age of only 60.

His was a life that mattered. This is a story that will not and should not be forgotten. I hope that it is still on reading lists in schools. The history and relevance of this story will never die.
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Format: Hardcover
There are many books on the condition of African Americans in the Deep South during the 1950s and '60s, but each of these repeats, usually, the standard views of one of a few groups: the justified white man, the sympathetic white man, and the angry black man. John Howard Griffin's "Black Like Me" is unlike anything else I have ever seen from this time period. Griffin's unique experiment consisted of taking a southern, well-educated white man, himself, and darkening his skin enough to be able to appear as a black man. He changed nothing else about himself and yet as one reads the diary-like entries of this book it is clear how much such a simple change mattered. Griffin became an African American in many senses of the life and culture. He felt like he was black and experienced all of the psychological effects of being a member of the race. Griffin was no longer simply sympathetic of the, as he might have said, problems of the Negro, but he understood and experienced life in their shoes.

The style of the book, which reads alike to a diary or journal, allows the reader to feel as if they were in Griffin's head or following him as he went about his experiment. I felt this style to well fit the nature of the topic and gives this non-fiction work more concrete footing in the reader's mind. After reading this book, I felt that for the sake of what Griffin wished to accomplish he succeeded and was able to create a great end product, though personally I wish he had taken the opportunity to visit more places and gain more experience than only the Deep South, though this may be a result of being from the northern United States.
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