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Black Like Me by Howard Griffin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   In Black Like Me, the white author details his startlingexperiences as an African-American. He spent a month with his skin temporarilydarkened through medication and UV light to find out for himself what life islike for an African-American and to expose his experiences.

Griffin beganhis experiment in New Orleans on November 6, 1959. He faced many incidents ofdiscrimination during the month, and experienced many emotions. When he calledhome he felt like an outsider, a stranger.

The discrimination Griffinfaced was appalling, including reactions of anger and

disgust on the solebasis of his skin color. Once, he was let off the bus 10 blocks past his stopbecause the driver refused to stop for a black man. Another time, he feared forhis life when a young white man followed him in the dark, threatening and mockinghim. No store would cash his travelers checks, fearing they were stolen. Thereseemed no end to the discrimination.

After finishing his project, Griffinreturned to his hometown of Mansfield, Texas. He told his story in manynewspapers, magazines and television interviews. Though many Americans applaudedwhat he had done, others were infuriated that he "turned against hisrace." Harsh words were written, threats were made to his family, friendswere lost and enemies made. He was even hung in effigy.

Thisgroundbreaking book shocked America. Griffin captured the black experience at atime when African-Americans had few ways to express the daily discrimination theyfaced. His work exposed how bad race relations really were.

Griffin usedan excellent blend of facts and personal experiences in Black Like Me. His storywas very emotional and exciting; I was never bored. His vivid descriptions mademe feel I was there right beside him. I also realized how cruel the human racecan be. In my daily life I am not directly affected by racism, and this bookopened my eyes and helped me see this issue more clearly. Before, I couldn't evenfathom the level of discrimination African-Americans face, but now I know itplays a large part in their lives, even today.

I recommend Black Like Meto anyone looking for a straightforward, heartfelt book. Once I started reading,I couldn't put it down!


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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