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Black Like Me | Study Guide

John Howard Griffin

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Course Hero. "Black Like Me Study Guide." April 2, 2018. Accessed May 28, 2023.


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Black Like Me | Book Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • October 29, 1959

    Griffin visits the offices of Sepia magazine to request funding for his project.

    October 29, 1959
  • November 2, 1959

    Griffin consults with a dermatologist about how to darken his skin and begins the process.

    November 2, 1959
  • November 8, 1959

    Sterling Williams gives Griffin tips on how to avoid trouble as a black man in New Orleans.

    November 8, 1959
  • Later that day

    Griffin meets a number of the important men in the African American community at the YMCA café.

    November 8, 1959
  • That evening

    A menacing white teenager follows and threatens Griffin. Griffin uses his wits to escape harm.

    November 8, 1959
  • November 10–12, 1959

    Griffin looks for work but no one will consider him.

    November 10–12, 1959
  • November 14, 1959

    Disturbing news about the Parker lynch case in Mississippi prompts Griffin to head to Mississippi.

    November 14, 1959: Mississippi
  • That afternoon

    On a bus, Griffin meets Christophe, a young black man who scorns other black people.

    November 14, 1959: Mississippi
  • That evening

    Griffin senses danger in Hattiesburg's ghetto and seeks out his friend P.D. East for refuge.

    November 14, 1959: Mississippi
  • November 19, 1959

    Griffin hitches rides from white men who ask him uncomfortable questions about black sex practices.

    November 19, 1959: Mississippi–Alabama
  • November 21, 1959

    Griffin looks for work in Mobile, Alabama, for three days with no results.

    November 21, 1959: Mobile
  • November 24, 1959

    Griffin stays with a sawmill worker and his family in the Alabama swamplands en route to Montgomery.

    November 24, 1959
  • November 25, 1959

    In Montgomery, Griffin notices a different atmosphere: a determined spirit of peaceful resistance.

    November 25, 1959: Montgomery
  • November 28, 1959

    Griffin decides to re-enter white society temporarily to study the contrast in how he is treated.

    November 28, 1959
  • December 2, 1959

    Griffin visits the Trappist monastery in Conyers.

    December 2, 1959: Trappist Monastery, Conyers
  • December 7, 1959

    Griffin and photographer Don Rutledge interview leaders in Atlanta's black community for an article.

    December 7, 1959
  • December 15, 1959

    Griffin returns home to his mother, wife, and children in Mansfield, Texas.

    December 15, 1959: Mansfield, Texas
  • March 14–April 1, 1960

    Griffin travels the country for radio and television interviews.

    March 14, 1960: Los Angeles
  • April 2, 1960

    White racists hang Griffin in effigy on Main Street in his hometown.

    April 2, 1960
  • August 14, 1960

    Griffin's parents move to Mexico to escape the hostility they face in Mansfield.

    August 14, 1960

Book Summaries Chart

Book Summary
Preface In his one-page preface to Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin ends with a vivid description of his book as the story of ... Read More
October 28, 1959–November 6, 1959 Griffin's journal entries begin in Texas on the last three days of October 1959, after he reads a troubling report about... Read More
November 7, 1959–November 12, 1959 At Griffin's final visit to the dermatologist, the doctor sends him off, saying, "Now you go into oblivion." Griffin sha... Read More
November 14–November 16, 1959 John Howard Griffin wakes up in New Orleans on November 14 to find African Americans throughout the neighborhood talking... Read More
November 19, 1959–November 29, 1959 Griffin takes a bus back into Mississippi, this time to Biloxi on the Gulf coast. He arrives late at night and finds a d... Read More
December 1, 1959–December 14, 1959 With the stains he used to enhance his skin's darkness, Griffin develops a method of changing back and forth from black ... Read More
December 15, 1959–August 17, 1960 Once John Howard Griffin's travels in the deep South are concluded, he returns to his family in Texas on December 15. Fl... Read More
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