Why does Griffin decide to embark on his journey in Black Like Me?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Griffin outlines his reasons for—with the help of dermatologists—turning himself into a black man and journeying into the deep South in 1959 in the first few pages of the book. He says that the suicide tendencies of black men had risen in the last few years, contradicting the claims coming out of the south that white and black people shared a "wonderfully, harmonious relationship."

In reality, Griffin states that black and white people had little to do with each other, to the point where they had no idea what was going on in each other's community:

The only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a negro.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team