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In the autumn of 1959, a white Texan journalist named John Howard Griffin travelled across the Deep South of the United States disguised as a black man. Black Like Me is Griffin's own account of his journey. Originally commissioned by the African-American general-interest magazine Sepia under the title 'Journey into Shame', it was published in book-form in 1961, revealing to a white audience the day-to-day experience of racism in segregation-era America.Selling over five million copies, Black Like Me became one of the best-known accounts of race and racism in the 1960s, and helped turn the eyes of white society towards the everyday indignities and injustices of segregation. Today, sixty years after Griffin's extraordinary journey across the racial divide, Black Like Me's unrepeatable act of journalistic intrepidity stands as a fascinating document of its times. 'John Howard Griffin has come closer to understanding what it's like to be black in America than any white man that I know.' Louis Lomax, Saturday Review'If it was a frightening experience for him as nothing but a make-believe Negro for sixty-six days, then you think about what real Negroes in America have gone through for 400 years.' Malcom X
This book brings together authors from different institutions and perspectives and from researchers specialising in different aspects of the experiences of the African Diaspora from Latin America. It creates an overview of the complexities of the lives of Black people over various periods of history, as they struggled to build lives away from Africa in societies that, in general, denied them the basic right of fully belonging, such as the right of fully belonging in the countries where, by choice or force of circumstance, they lived. Another Black Like Me thus presents a few notable scenes from the long history of Blacks in Latin America: as runaway slaves seen through the official documentation denouncing as illegal those who resisted captivity; through the memoirs of a slave who still dreamt of his homeland; reflections on the status of Black women; demands for citizenship and kinship by Black immigrants; the fantasies of Blacks in the United States about the lives of Blacks in Brazil; a case study of some of those who returned to Africa and had to build a new identity based on their experiences as slaves; and the abstract representations of race and color in the Caribbean. All of these provide the reader with a glimpse of complex phenomena that, though they cannot be generalized in a single definition of blackness in Latin America, share the common element of living in societies where the definition of blackness was flexible, there were no laws of racial segregation, and where the culture on one hand tolerates miscegenation, and on the other denies full recognition of rights to Blacks.
No less a critic than Clifton Fadiman called The Devil Rides Outside a "staggering novel." The first novel of John H. Griffin, it written during the author's decade of blindness following an injury suffered during the closing days of World War II. As Time Magazine described it, The Devil Rides Outside "has some things relatively rare in U.S. letters: energy, earnestness and unashamed religious fervor." Written as a diary, the novel relates the intellectual and spiritual battles of a young American musicologist who is studying Gregorian chant in a French Benedictine monastery. Even though he is not Catholic, he must live like the monks, sleeping in a cold stone cell, eating poor food, sharing latrine duties. His dreams rage with memories of his Paris mistress; his days are spent being encouraged by the monks to seek God. He takes up residence outside the monastery after an illness, but he finds the village a slough of greed and pettiness and temptation. Indeed, as the French proverb says, "the devil rides outside the monastery walls."
This is a heartwarming, ever-evolving story about a socially transplanted Caucasian brother and sister thrust by circumstance into life and love in the hood. It is the joy of acceptance and the pain of rejection finally told from the opposite perspective of black Americans being denied assimilation into white society. It is the "OC" inside out, blended with Spike Lee's Jungle Fever upside down, and a kinder, warmer Eminem's 8-Mile. It is a story whose time has finally come. Its chemistry is exquisitely perfect. It presents situations that evoke only empathy, and characters that everyone will relate to and ultimately embrace. Black-Like-Me is the realization of American life and its true promise of human manifest destiny. Read this and swell up inside. Hey, you are about to fall in love!
In this lyrical coming-of-age story about family, sisterhood, music, race, and identity, Mariama J. Lockington draws on some of the emotional truths from her own experiences growing up with an adoptive white family. I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven years old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda's family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena— the only other adopted black girl she knows— for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help but wonder: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world. For Black Girls Like Me is for anyone who has ever asked themselves: How do you figure out where you are going if you don’t know where you came from?