Thursday, November 06, 2008


I had forgotten about this book,
until recent events here in the usa.

I read this a few times when I was
quite young. I couldn't imagine not only
that someone would go to all the trouble
of changing ones hair and skin color, but to also
experience what african americans were still
going through in the 1950s.

It made quite an impression, not only for what
he did, but how the author was treated after the
book was published. Sadly, weird stuff is still being
said about anyone of color these days.

I hope with recent events here that slowly but
surely those with those backwards attitudes
towards others, will disappear sooner
rather than later.

See "NO DIFFERENCE" below.

What should move us to action

is human dignity

the inalienable dignity of the oppressed,

but also the dignity of all of us.

We lose dignity

if we tolerate

the intolerable.



No Difference

Small as a peanut,

Big as a giant,

We're all the same size

When we turn off the light

Rich as a sultan,

Poor as a mite,

We're all worth the same

When we turn off the light.

Red, black or orange,

Yellow or white,

We all look the same

When we turn off the light.

So maybe the way

To make everything right

Is for God to just reach out

And turn off the light!

Shel Silverstein



Mark said...

This was a powerful book and experiment. THanks for reminding us of it. We have come a long way and have a longer way to go. It is an amazing time in history.

Merle Sneed said...

Why would a guy sign up for that?

I love Shel Silverstein.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I had the pleasure of meeting mr. griffin in fort worth, a couple years after I read his book. what an amazing man.

great theme day addition! as always!! and most perfect quotes. uncle shelby rocks forever

Georg said...

Hallo Coffee,

Great book, I know it, too.

Very recently, I read another story about color change in "Tales of the City" from Armistead Maupin. But here it is a mannequin who changes from white to black to earn more money.

And the idea for this came from your book.


Kurt said...

I never read Black Like Me. But Eddie Murphy did a funny piece on SNL where he disguised himself as a white person.

Megan said...


R.L. Bourges said...

Great post. Fascinating link. And Peter Green - what a sound he had. Thanks for the memories.

Joanne said...

Imagine, it's the "new millennium" and we still deal with this. Nice quotes.

Anonymous said...

Well done, America! Perhaps you can turn it around now, head off in an entirely new direction, one of peace!

The rest of the world waits with bated breath. Please don't disappoint us again.

P.S. Cheers to you, Coffee. I can imagine how you feel.

N said...

I am trying to get my hands on Obama's book. An Indian newspaper published excerpts of it and I was moved by some of it. He seems such an impressive man and the experiences he matter where you are from.....they are meaningful.

Coffee Messiah said...

mark: Sad but true. Here's hoping another door opens though.

merle: He truly felt a need, to be sure. Shel is missed.

kimy: Wow, that must have been interesting! Thanks for popping by.

georg: Bonjour! Funny, TOC ran in the SF paper and I missed that story line.

kurt: Never saw that one but could imagine how funny that was.

megan: )

rlb: Green was most excellent until he committed himself for whatever reason. I keep waiting for Then Play On to be out with out takes. Was an amazing album. Glad you checked out the link.

joanne: Let me tell you, it amazes me how many people here still think that way. Quite depressing.

david g: Mainly, will be glad to see gw go. Maybe, he'll leave early, just because?

We hope for the best and feel intellectually, obama is quite a few brain cells ahead of what we've had! ; )

Cheers to you and your family!

n: I'm sure there are used books out there. Although I never felt the need to read his book, what anyone of color goes through when people pit them against others, is demeaning all around.

What a world.

Unknown said...

When viewed from afar it turns out that we have far more in common than we have differences, but the trouble is our vision is generally far too myopic and we are too afraid to look further than the ends of our noses.
Sad, isn't it.

Coffee Messiah said...

absolute: There are many cultural differences, of course throughout the World, but otherwise, we are indeed the same when you get down to nuts and bolts.

Too bad some do not understand that.