Katie Couric's Bookshelf
By John Howard Griffin
This remarkable piece of nonfiction tells the story of how Griffin, a white man, comes to understand (by changing the color of his skin) what it's like to be a black man living in the Deep South. The fact that this is a true story meant a great deal to me. I remember being amazed at how much had changed in the South from the time the book was written in 1959 to when I was a teenager in the '70s. At one point, Griffin is on a bus trip, and the driver will not stop to let him use a bathroom. I found that display of bigotry mind-boggling. I was also touched by both the sheer bravery the author demonstrated in pursuing the truth and his willingness to confront his own prejudices in order to let his readers confront theirs.