TODAY’S NEW RELEASE: BLACK LIKE ME
It is imperative at times, to put things into appropriate context, so before delving into the film, “Black Like Me,” please understand that this movie is based on a book written by journalist John Howard Griffin and published back in 1961. Furthermore, this film later followed, having been released in 1964 and directed by Carl Lerner and all that being said, because it is historical if dated. My disclaimer comes at the sensitivity of being aware of the issues of racism in today’s modern times, to being emotionally and mentally aware of the current historical events surrounding American’s and race, and to share that my opinions are that of a story that was offered to the public over fifty years ago. The plot is based on a true story, there was once a white male reporter who wondered what the racial separations and divisions, specifically in the South, during the Civil Rights movement, were truly like as a an African American at the time. This reporter, John Howard Griffin, decided to embark on a six week trip to the deep South, with his skin painted black, so he could truly immerse himself into the racial inequalities and racial disadvantages. Unfortunately, in the film, James Whitmore does not look anything other than ridiculous, having “painted his skin” black. Furthermore, the story does little to show us as the audience, what this may “feel” like in the deep South, per se. However, I do applaud the notion that, during this time period, over fifty years ago, there was the idea to bring racial inequality to light and although, this may not have been the most effective way to go about it, I can appreciate the well intended (I use that loosely) effort. What I came up with, after watching “Black Like Me,” is a deplorable problem that the United States of America faces, in that so long as we cannot understand that we are all equal and cannot live communally and treat one another as such, we are not better off than we were fifty years ago or one hundred years ago. THAT is TRULY the sickening tragedy. “Black Like Me” will urge you to think, to question your own moral integrity, is not that what TRULY makes movies such a joy to behold?
- Director: Carl Lerner
- Starring: James Whitmore, Sorrell Booke, Roscoe Lee Browne