<em>Black Like Me</em> by John Howard Griffin

I read this in high school as part of a Black culture and racism section. At the time I thought it was weird and stupid that we should study black culture and racism in a school in a town that was forty percent Native and very racist, but now I wonder if they were smart enough to know that studying Native culture and racism would be close enough to home that most kids would just shut down, defensively, and ignore any potential lessons, whereas studying Black culture would be distant enough for comfort but still make the brighter kids think about issues closer to home. I may be giving the school administration too much credit here.

Anyway, I thought it was time for a re-read because the book made a big impact on me when read it the first time, and indeed I am still very moved by it. I feel like I should have something more intelligent and cynical to say about it now, but I don't. I haven't really studied or considered race relations much in the intervening fifteen years so maybe that accounts for my lack of insight, or maybe it's just still a really good book.


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