On October 28, 1959, John Howard Griffin underwent a transformation that changed many lives beyond his own--he made his skin black and traveled through the segregated Deep South. His odyssey of discovery was captured in journal entries, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th-century American racism ever written. More than 50 years later, this newly edited edition--which is based on the original manuscript and includes a new design and added afterword--gives fresh life to what is still considered a "contemporary book." The story that earned respect from civil rights leaders and death threats from many others endures today as one of the great human--and humanitarian--documents of the era. In this new century, when terrorism is too often defined in terms of a single ethnic designation or religion, and the first black president of the United States is subject to hateful slurs, this record serves as a reminder that America has been blinded by fear and racial intolerance before. This is the story of a man who opened his eyes and helped an entire nation to do likewise.
John Howard Griffin was a musicologist who served, and was injured, in the Air Force during World War II. Blind for a decade, Griffin became an acclaimed novelist and essayist and when his sight returned, almost miraculously, he became a remarkable portrait photographer. Following his cross-racial exploration in the South, he was personally vilified, hanged in effigy in his hometown, threatened with death, and severely beaten by the Klu Klux Klan. Respected internationally as a human rights activist, he worked with major Civil Rights leaders throughout the era, taught at the University of Peace, and delivered more than a 1,200 lectures in America and abroad. He is the author of "The Devil Rides Outside" and posthumous works such as "Prison of Culture: Beyond Black Like Me."Robert Bonazzi""is a widely published writer and the author of "Living the Borrowed Life," "Maestro of Solitude: Poems and Poetics," and "The Scribbling Cure: Poems and Prose Poems." He is the literary executor for the estate of John Howard Griffin. He lives in San Antonio, Texas. Studs Terkel was a cultural commentator, columnist, interviewer, and author of many books on American history and culture, including "Touch and Go: A Memoir" and "The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century."