by John Howard Griffin
In the Deep South of the 1950s, a color line was etched in blood across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross that line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. What happened to John Howard Griffin, from the outside and within himself, as he made his way through the segregated Deep South is recorded in this searing work of nonfiction.
John Howard Griffin (1920 1980), was a writer, journalist, humanitarian, and social critic. He was educated in France. His first work, "The Devil Rides Outside", is an autobiographical account of his time there and the personal struggles during this period of his life. With the advent of World War II, Griffin did military service, where he was hit on the head and suffered a concussion, which later caused him to be struck blind. He miraculously recovered his sight five years later and wrote about the experience in "Scattered Shadows". The most famous and controversial book he wrote was Black Like Me, where he examined the attitudes of whites toward African Americans in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. In order to obtain firsthand experience, he dyed his skin black and lived among African Americans. Griffin received many awards in his lifetime, including the Pope John XIII Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award and the National Council of Negro Women Award.
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