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Free Study Guide-Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin-Free Booknotes
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NOVEMBER 2, 1959

Summary

In this entry in the diary, the author gives a detailed account of how he goes about finding a dermatologist, who will help him in carrying out his plan. The author gives the dermatologist his case history and the former decides the line of treatment after consulting his colleagues. The doctor and the author agree that, the latterís body will be exposed to ultraviolet rays after he consumes some tablets. In order to protect his host from any hostile reprisals, he does not tell him anything about his plans. He only tells him that he is on an assignment that he cannot discuss with anyone. He even tells him that he might disappear without saying goodbye. Then he tries to find a way of entering the Negro world, which, he realizes, is very difficult.


Notes

In todayís entry in the diary the readers are introduced to the dermatologist, who, though he has never been requested to change the color of a personís skin, is willing and suggests oral medication followed by exposure to ultraviolet rays. But this treatment is fraught with great risk and takes from 6 weeks to 3 months. The author however wants to accelerate the process and is even willing to monitor the treatment with constant blood tests. Once again the readers get an insight into the authorís great courage and even his determination. The readers by this time must have realized the great risks involved in undergoing a treatment to change oneís skin pigmentation. The author is willing to go through all this in his pursuit of truth.

This entry in the diary also gives a glimpse of the authorís acute sensitivity as he decides to carry out the treatment in private and not involve his host in any way, so that there are no hostile repercussions on him. The readers also meet the host, a generous, anti-racist white, the first example of white heroism.

Finally todayís entry describes the author walking through the poor and crowded Negro part of town, searching for an opening, a contact, a way to enter the world of the Negro. Once again the courageous character of the author is revealed as he tries to enter the Negro world -- which is a very complicated act for someone who has never personally seen that part of the world, a world about which he has only read about.

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