Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (for US History I AP)

Essay by SingularHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2004

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Greg Pellis

U.S. History I AP

Mr. Voloninno

Due 9/20/04

Black Like Me Essay

What is unacceptable? It is merely what is considered socially normal. It may be perceived any way you want, but there is no real defenition of what it is. Today, we see acceptable as treating everybody fairly, giving equal opportunities to all, and not discriminating due to race, religion, or creed. But it was not always like that, as we have seen thanks to John Howard Griffin's brave act of investigating what it meant to be black in the Deep South.

In disguise as an African-American, John Howard Griffin encountered many situations that would be considered unacceptable today, but back in the late 1950s, it was considered completely permissible to put down and degrade people of other races. As a black man, Mr. Griffin was denied the use of a restroom multiple times, because it was for white clientele only.

This highly discriminatory practice was all too common in the Southern United States of America before the Civil Rights Bill was passed.

Mr. Griffin also unearthed trouble when he attempted to cash a twenty-dollar traveler's check. A woman behind the counter, who had pleasantly served him many times as a white man, refused to cash his check merely because he was black. Eventually, a woman in a religious bookstore cashed it for him.

The most serious problem was the whites completely ignoring the blacks unless they were directly confronted by them. This shows that the whites believed that they held racial superiority above the blacks. If it were not for this attitude, whites and blacks probably could have lived together in peace before being forced to by the government.

As a white man in the Deep South, Mr. Griffin also encountered many problems. As...