Black like me is a very interesting read. You almost start the novel off on the wrong foot, questioning if he is really serious about his endeavor. The process he goes through is almost surreal, as I found myself really wondering what type of benefit he would recieve from doing all this. He dyes his skin and shaves his head in an attempt to be accepted into the black culture of the south. He seems to wobble during his balancing act of playing a black man in the beginning, but begins to achieve a sameness or feeling of comfortability with many individuals of the African American race.
You don't go into this book expecting sunshines and rainbows, and if you do you are headed for a disasterous awakening. The book was almost meant to shock you to a point of no return. This is an account of real life, and certain actions that are said an done to Griffin cannot be taken back. Yes...this is happening at a time where discrimination was more prevalent and in your face and yes this is happening in the South, but it still existed and it was Griffin's chance to tell the story. His story will be cemented in time, and will be viewable to all of those who pass it or give it a second glance.
While the visuals are there, it is sometimes hard to imagine the hate that he experiences in his travels. We can all say that we know what discrimination looks like, but to feel it is a different matter. Reading about someone getting the death glare is less painful than getting the death glare itself, but Griffin translated his feelings in the best way that he could. This makes the book hard to relate to at times, because you cannot really empathize to the extent that he may have wanted you to, but you can get the general idea.
The main point of the book was in fact to point out discrimination, but I feel like the parallel idea to the story is the idea of identity. He has an identity crisis at multiple times throughout the book, questioning who he is and where he fits into this society. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing and can't find a way to undress. Trying to be on both teams does not work to his advantage and puts him in a group all of his own. This tug-of-war between who he sees and who he is ultimately leads him to stop his experiment and change back to what he feels is who he really is.
I had always wanted to read this book, but had never gotten a chance to. In school it was offered to me, but I ended up with The Color Purple instead. Now that I have read it, I am glad that I did. This story is one that needed to be told, and it is one experiment that you don't get too see replicated often. Griffin got a chance to take on the South as its enemy, and survived. He knows what it is like to shed his skin and become a new person, and I think he was bettered for it. I could say lots more about the book, but it would take far too long. I would just recommend that people read it, so that they can have their own take on this interesting read.