• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Black like me.

Extracts from this document...


Racism cruelly and completely corrupts the heart, body and intelligence not only of the oppressed, but it dehumanizes and brutalizes even the oppressors. In the autobiographical diaries, Black Like Me, written by John Howard Griffin, and A Place Called Heaven, written by Cecil Foster, both main characters alter their lifestyles, one in America, one in Canada, only to suffer raw hate, violence, crudity and inhumanity from white racists. Through these experiences, both men encounter many racial barriers that exist between whites and blacks, which entirely destroys the dignity and self worth of the blacks. However, the cruelty towards the blacks was not their most intriguing conclusion. Through observation, communication and personal experiences, both men came to realize that racism is not a part of human nature, but rather a by-product of the human nature of the fear of the unknown. John Howard Griffen was a white journalist who truly wanted to understand racism and how it affected the blacks. Griffen began to research the rise of suicide tendencies in Southern blacks. However, he realizes that it is very difficult to collect useful information because "the Southern Negro will not tell the white man the truth", (Griffen, pg.12). ...read more.


I don't know what to think anymore. I think they are just scared for me for some reason. But I know I am just as safe in this classroom than anywhere else, but I can't help but feel a little frightened because what if they are right?" (Foster, pg. 119). This proves to Foster that people are not born with hatred, it is learned. Racism is not part of human nature, it is taught. The white people were not educated on the blacks because they chose not to surround themselves with them. They were afraid that the blacks were there to cause trouble and danger to society. It is not until they began to put their fears aside and question the stereotypes, that the white folk began to see that there is no need to dread the blacks. The only way either of these main characters could come to such realizations was through their conversations and interactions with the white people who were willing to talk to them. Some conversations that Griffen participated in, that made man's fear of each other even more evident, occurred when he was forced to hitch-hike with several anonymous drivers. ...read more.


This woman represents all of white society for both of these men. Blacks were not so much hated because they were different, as they were feared because of their differences, which ultimately brought forth hatred. Through each man's observations, conversations and personal experiences, he learned that there is no fundamental difference in the nature of the white man as compared to the nature of the black man. There seems to be a desire to survive. The white man attempted to survive by making the black man a "second citizen", which is to say "lesser citizen". The black man attempted to survive by banding together as a race. This helped the race survive through a feeling of empathy. If a human feels that he is not alone, it tends to give a more powerful sense of strength. Since the white person was unfamiliar with the black man, there was a sense of fear of the black man. Racism is merely a defense mechanism learned through society. It is in this manner that the white man "saved" himself from the black man. The white man saw only his own need for self-preservation. He feared the black man because of the white man's ignorance of the black man. The white man feared that the black man was different than the white man, and therefore dangerous. It is from this fear that racism springs. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination essays

  1. Prayer of a Black Boy, by Gut Tirolien, is a piece of poetry written ...

    Laura: The boy can be compared to a wild animal... he wants to run free and do what comes naturally to him, rather than being kept in "captivity" like an attraction in a Zoo, to ease the consciences of the white traitors that have denied his right to live his own life.

  2. show racism the red card'

    Questionnaires were also given to a sample of young minority ethnic individuals in the Greater Glasgow region, the great majority of whom played amateur league football. Forty questionnaires were completed by players of unprofessional football leagues. The questionnaire was designed following established guidelines.

  1. The Cultures and Relationships Expressed in Bend It Like Beckham

    To Jasminder and Jules, soccer is the essence of life. They live and breathe soccer. Soccer can be part of a culture for various reasons. One reason, and perhaps the most important, would be "culture is public". Cultures cannot consist of only one member.

  2. Crooks is a Negro stable buck

    Through out this key chapter it is frequently reminded to us that Crooks was a victim of racism in America during the 1930's as "he kept his distance and demanded that other people kept theirs." From this we can determine that he is a very secluded man and he likes

  1. Gay people should be allowed to get married. Just because somebody's gay doesn't mean ...

    Gays have relationships that are as permanent and stable as those of straight people. Moreover, gay marriage would not harm children: Studies show that what is most important to children is the love they receive from their parents, not their parents' gender.

  2. Racism. In South Africa a relatively small white population ruled the black majority for ...

    insult the god that Christians believe in but not a crime to insult the god that Sikhs believe in. * If some rule unfairly discriminates against a particular religion, then it may be that its followers are protected by the Race Relations Act if they all belong to one ethnic group.

  1. "Critically analyse the construction of 'race'/ethnicity in the context of a particular sporting subculture: ...

    and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) in 1993. It is supported by all the game's governing bodies, supporters' organisations and local authorities, and works to challenge racism at all levels of the game. It is perhaps the most famous and so far successful campaign to 'kick out' one of footballs most hated 'traditions'.

  2. Whispers about the witnesses.

    Long before the Christian era itself a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of year in honour of the Babylonian son of the queen of the heaven. Reverend Alexander Hislop, author of 'The Two Babylons', and not a Jehovah's Witness himself, admits it can be presumed

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work