Black Like Me - John Howard Griffin Critical Book Review -

"He who is less than just is less than man."
Black Like Me is the profound true-life novel describing the life-changing journey of a white Texan man named John Howard Griffin. Griffin uses pills to darken his skin, and travels the southern United States during a time of segregation and extreme racism on his quest to know exactly what it would be like to live as a black man. Armed with his pen and diary, John Griffin engages in battle with racial injustice to record his experiences that eventually become the basis of his book, Black Like Me.
John Howard Griffin is a writer and racial activist living in Texas in 1959. After reading a disturbing article describing the rise in suicide in African Americans, Griffin, a white man, realizes that he could not possibly understand the oppression, segregation, and utter hatred that blacks live with everyday. Griffin approaches his friend George Levitan, the editor of Sepia, a magazine that focuses on Negro news and issues. Griffin explains his radical idea to darken his skin and travel throughout the southern United States in order to explore first hand the racial boundaries between blacks and whites. George agrees to fund the project in exchange for the rights to print Griffin’s journal entries in his magazine. With the help of a dermatologist, Griffin uses medication to alter the pigmentation of his skin, and sets out on his journey.
Griffin arrives in New Orleans to begin his skin treatment. Here the reader gets insight into the white dermatologist’s thinking. Griffin notices he is like many white liberals, who on the one hand believe in the brotherhood of man, but deep down still hold racial prejudices and stereotypes against black people. This becomes clear when he says: "the lighter the skin the more trustworthy the Negro." It is also in New Orleans where Griffin meets his first Negro friend, a shoeshine by the name of Sterling Williams. He is intelligent, polite and friendly so the author trusts him with his true...