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Black Like Me: Definitive Griffin Estate (04 Edition)by Griffin
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
The Griffin Estate Edition of Black Like Me — the first hardcover version of this modern classic published since 1977 — appears in the 45th anniversary year of Griffin's 1959 experimental journey through the Deep South disguised as a Negro. This Wings Press hardcover edition provides new features not in other editions: Certain key passages deleted from Griffin's original typescript have been restored by Robert Bonazzi, editor of the Griffin Estate, and all errors from previous printings by other publishers have been corrected. This 2004 publication includes John Howard Griffin's 1976 Epilogue, and for the first time in any edition, Griffin's final word on racism, "Beyond Otherness," written in 1979, the year before his death. The edition also features a new Foreword by Studs Terkel, Griffin's longtime colleague and friend. Another first is the inclusion of Don Rutledge's historic photographs of John Howard Griffin disguised as a Negro in New Orleans, including images that have never been published. (The image used on the cover was discovered to exist only on a contact sheet.) The Afterword by Robert Bonazzi, composed especially for this edition, focuses on Griffin's evolving response to racism and race-relations — from the ethical vision of non-violence in the Civil Rights Movement to legally abolish segregation and regain voting rights during the 1960s, to Griffin becoming an advocate of the Black Power struggle to establish a new sense of African American self-determination and liberation in the 1970s.
"Some actions are so absolutely simple and right that they amount to genius. Black Like Me was an act of genius on the part of Mr. Griffin." Cyril Connolly, Sunday Times of London
"Griffin's fully detailed journal of this odyssey is a brief, unsettling, and essential document of contemporary American life." Dan Wakefield, New York Times Book Review
"Black Like Me is essential reading as a basic text for study of this great contemporary social problem. It is a social document of the first order, providing material absolutely unavailable elsewhere with such authenticity that it cannot be dismissed." San Francisco Chronicle
"His new book may serve as a corrective to the blindness of many of his countrymen." New York Herald Tribune
"With this book, John Howard Griffin easily takes rank as probably the country's most venturesome student of race relations. It is a piercing and memorable document." Newsweek
"Black Like Me is a moving and troubling book written by an accomplished novelist. It is a scathing indictment of our society." Saturday Review of Literature
"A stinging indictment of thoughtless, needless inhumanity. No one can read it without suffering." Dallas Morning News
"One of the deepest, most penetrating documents yet set down on the racial question." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Black Like Me is gentle in tone, but it is more powerful and compelling than a sociological report, more penetrating than most scientific studies. It has the ring of authenticity." Detroit News
"A shocker — the report of a white man who darkened his skin and lived as a Negro in the South to see the racial problem at first hand. This book will generate emotion." Publishers Weekly
In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color 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. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity — that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.
Studs Terkel tells us in his Foreword to the definitive Griffin Estate Edition of Black Like Me: "This is a contemporary book, you bet." Indeed, Black Like Me remains required reading in thousands of high schools and colleges for this very reason. Regardless of how much progress has been made in eliminating outright racism from American life, Black Like Me endures as a great human — and humanitarian — document. In our era, when "international" terrorism is most often defined in terms of a single ethnic designation and a single religion, we need to be reminded that America has been blinded by fear and racial intolerance before. As John Lennon wrote, "Living is easy with eyes closed." Black Like Me is the story of a man who opened his eyes, and helped an entire nation to do likewise.
On October 28, 1959, John Howard Griffin underwent a transformation that changed many lives beyond his own—he made his skin black and traveled through the segregated Deep South. His odyssey of discovery was captured in journal entries, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th-century American racism ever written. More than 50 years later, this newly edited edition—which is based on the original manuscript and includes a new design and added afterword—gives fresh life to what is still considered a contemporary book.” The story that earned respect from civil rights leaders and death threats from many others endures today as one of the great human—and humanitarian—documents of the era. In this new century, when terrorism is too often defined in terms of a single ethnic designation or religion, and the first black president of the United States is subject to hateful slurs, this record serves as a reminder that America has been blinded by fear and racial intolerance before. This is the story of a man who opened his eyes and helped an entire nation to do likewise.
About the Author
Known primarily as the author of the modern classic, Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) was a true Renaissance man. Having fought in the French Resistance and been a solo observer on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, he became a critically-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a remarkable photographer and musicologist, and a dynamic lecturer and teacher. On October 28, 1959, after a decade of blindness and a remarkable and inexplicable recovery, John Howard Griffin dyed himself black and began an odyssey of discovery through the segregated American South. The result was Black Like Me, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th century American racism ever written.
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