Reading Guide #1 By John Howard Griffin Preface

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Black like Me Reading Guide #1

By John Howard Griffin


  1. According to John Howard Griffin’s Preface, what is the “real story” of Black like Me?

2. What 3 specific examples does he give to show how this is “universal”?

October 28th

3. What reported information caused Griffin to begin wondering about how it would be for him to experience racism as a black man in the South?

4. What was being claimed by major white voices in the South about southern race relations at that time?

5. What did Griffin hope to discover by “becoming a Negro”? (A two word answer will do!)

6. Why could he not expect to get this from black people if he asked them as a white man? (Why would they lie to a white man?)

7. How does cognitive dissonance explain why the answer to #6 is true, while also explaining the relationship between answers #3 and #4?

Are such situations universal?
8. List (and briefly explain) 3 areas of your life, our society, or the world where you tend to see honesty being punished.

  • Answer freely and as personally as you feel comfortable—J.H.G. went with some “crudity and rawness,” so you can too, but I won’t make you; neither will I punish honesty (if I can help it!).

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