A Q and A Session on Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin: answered with quotations from the book and short answers.

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1. In what year, and where, did Griffin do his research?

John Griffin started his research in late October of 1959, and through the first half of 1960. He conducted his research in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.

2. Why the title, Black Like Me?

The title is taken literally from the lines of a poem by Langston Hughes called "Dream Variation" though the title takes a more significant meaning in regards to Griffin as shown on page 119:

"... I stepped from the booth to the night's cooler air. The night was always a comfort. Most of the whites were in their homes. The threat was less. A Negro blended inconspicuously into the darkness.

Night coming tenderly

Black like me.

At such a time, the Negro can look at the starlit skies and find that he has, after all, a place in the universal order of things. The stars, the black skies, affirm his humanity, his validity as a human being.

He knows that his belly, his lungs, his tired legs, his appetites, his prayers and his mind are cherished in some profound involvement with nature and God. The night is his consolation. It does not despise him."

3. What provoked Griffin to do his research?

Pg. 1

"This speculation was sparked again by a report that lay on my desk in the old barn that served as my office. The report mentioned the rise in suicide tendency among Southern Negroes. This did not mean that they killed themselves, but rather that they reached a stage where they simply no longer cared whether they lived or died... How else except by becoming a Negro could a white man hope to learn the truth?"

4. Provide an example from the book where Griffin describes the changes he experience...