Black Like Me (1964)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama, Melodrama, Message Movie, Period Film  |   Release Date - May 20, 1964 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Black Like Me is the true story of white journalist John Howard Griffin, who "became" a Negro in the late 1950s. Feeling that the best way to understand what it was like to be black in a segregated south was to experience the feeling first-hand, Griffin (James Whitmore) undergoes extensive-and sometimes painful-skin pigmentation treatments. Though he tends to look more like Al Jolson or Eddie Cantor rather than African American, Whitmore does a creditable job playing a proud man forced into subservience by an unfeeling white society. Unfortunately, the film falls prey to stylistic affectations, notably an overabundance of confusing flashbacks. Though dating and occasionally patronizing, Black Like Me is still a worthwhile effort.

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Keywords

Black [race], cross-cultural-relations, discrimination, inequality, injustice, journalism, prejudice, race/ethnicity, racism