Man in the Mirror: John Howard Griffin and the Story of Black Like Me

Robert Bonazzi, Author Orbis Books $18 (206p) ISBN 978-1-57075-118-9
In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a white man, chemically altered the color of his skin to become a black man, and entered black society in the Deep South so that he could experience firsthand the harshness and prejudice of segregation. His book, Black Like Me, described his experiences to an audience that was fascinated by the sensational aspects of his journey. At the heart of Griffin's experience, however, was a deeply spiritual notion that we see in all human beings our ""intrinsic other."" Bonazzi, who was close to Griffin, here traces the journey of John Howard Griffin from his early life through the aftermath of the publication of Black Like Me. Through interviews and close readings of Black Like Me, a portrait of Griffin as a compassionate man deeply committed to social justice through love emerges. In the first section of the book, Bonazzi explores Griffin's life to show that his background in a racist family and community in Texas militated against his journey toward justice. But, through his years as a student in Paris as well as through his own physical blindness, Griffin became a man who worked tirelessly, though primarily through his writings, for racial justice. In the final section of the book, Bonazzi uses Griffin's letters, novels and journals to show how deeply his Catholic faith, particularly his long friendship with Thomas Merton, informed his vision of himself as a priest to others through his writings. While Bonazzi's book gives a fascinating portrait of an important personality in American history, his style of piling quotation upon quotation makes for tiresome reading. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.