“What was it like, really like, to be a black in the Deep South? Novelist John Howard Griffin darkened his skin and set out to discover by personal experience the night side of American life. This is his startling report.” -Book cover quote
Black Like Me illustrates racism in 1959 in the deep south from a white/white privilege perspective. It shows all white people what it’s like to be black in America. It shows us what things white people take for granted. It shows us just how cruel white people are.
Imagine having to walk miles to get to the nearest restroom that you are permitted to use based on your skin color. Just using the restroom to relieve yourself, a privilege.
About the higher rates of suicidal tendencies of black people, Griffin says, “This did not mean that they killed themselves, but rather that they had reached a stage where they simply no longer cared if they lived or died.”
I’m starting to understand why Black people have given up hope on white people in the racism debate.
(Photo courtesy of ToonPool.com)
It’s because when white people hear that voter literacy tests were used to keep Black people from voting, they’re upset because it’s obviously prejudiced (though they say “racist”) to ignore that, to an extent, white immigrants were also excluded from voting because of it.
It’s because when white people hear about those little Black struggles in (oh-so-ancient) history like slavery, mass lynchings, and Jim Crow laws, white people ask what the current Black generation’s excuse is.
I came across this handout from one summer’s Resident Assistant training at Towson University.
When they know nothing about the situations and struggles that the majorities (of the world) face, why do white, privileged men make the decisions for the rest of the world? No wonder there are so many conflicts.