The racism and discrimination against blacks in both Black Like Me and Black Boy show the hardships and racial injustice that blacks faced in the south with their share of differences and similarities. After reading Black Like Me and Black Boy, I have gained a better perspective, about how in Black Like Me when John Howard Griffin was a “black” man he was treated unequally as all blacks are and once he went back to being a white man those people who had treated him bad were now treating him with respect. However, in the end no matter the skin color some things are the same for both colors. In Black Boy, I have learned that the life of a young child, a black boy, is hard during the segregated south and can harshly affect the child while growing up. As I read, I came across some similarities between both works as well as some differences. Even though both works had their moments in which the characters faced struggles, I was still able to see optimism as well as hope for a better life and future.
As I read Black Boy, Griffin provided me with a small insight on the way whites and blacks were differently treated. Black Like Me was based on a white man who wanted to get a better understanding of the life of negroes and how it feels to be treated unequally. He wanted to know what stood between the white man and black man, why they could not communicate. Griffin writes in his book that, “the only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a Negro” (Griffin 1). His journey then began and he lived the life of a black man. It is with such bravery that he went and risked becoming a Negro. He knew that adverse consequences would occur once people knew the truth. He did not care; I was fascinated with his desire to see what...
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... let the events that were occurring to demolish his dream. He moved to Chicago because in the North the conditions were said to be much better than they were in the South for blacks. When times were tough he never gave up. The book is proof that all his hard work paid off.
In the end, both books explored the racism there was towards blacks and showed me no matter the race both share commonalities and I was also able to get some insight of a boy’s life growing up in the South. I was also able to identify some similarities and differences in Black Like Me and Black Boy. Besides showing the struggles faced both works showed some hope for a better future.
Griffin, J. H. (2010). Black Like Me. New York: Signet. (Original work published 1961). Print
Wright, Richard. Black Boy. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1944. Print.
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