The companion volume to the 50th-anniversary edition of Black Like Me, this book features John Howard Griffin’s later writings on racism and spirituality. Conveying a progressive evolution in thinking, it further explores Griffin’s ethical stand in the human rights struggle and nonviolent pursuit of equality a view he shared with greats such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Merton. Enlightening and forthright, this record also focuses on Griffin’s spiritual grounding in the Catholic monastic tradition, discussing the illuminating meditations on suffering and the author’s own reflections on communication, justice, and dying.
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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 the United States and abroad. He is the author of The Devil Rides Outside.Review:
"This collection of writings, chosen to complement Black like Me, provides a portrait of the effects of racial discrimination on Americans of color, as well as insight into Griffin's reasons for his experiment and his fundamental human decency. . . . It also introduces readers to the complex heritage of Christian traditions both in opposing and in maintaining the racial system in the US. . . . Highly recommended." —www.ChoiceMag.org
"Prison of Culture is a valuable collection of essays by a creative, daring, and moral individual who is better known for his amazingly courageous Black Like Me. . . . John Howard Griffin's reputation as a voice of moral conscience is strong, clear, and essential." —Texas Books in Review
"His trenchant essays are written with intensity and passion. His prose style is clear and forceful. People who grew up during the years of struggle for equal rights will find in Prison of Culture commentary that brings alive those times of intense moral crises. Readers today will find in these essays the truth in American philosopher George Santanya's statement that those who are ignorant of the past are doomed to repeat the past's mistakes. The prejudice and injustice of the past must never be forgotten. Prison of Culture should exist for modern readers who may have let themselves lose sight of the wrongs that still persist." —Kenneth W. Davis, Texas Books in Review
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