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After the publication of the book, the public response was divided. He received death threats for his experiment, but the book earned him international respect by human and civil rights activists. Griffin’s accounts of receiving a hateful stare from white people on his journey gave readers a truthful account of Southern hatred pre-civil rights movement. Unfortunately, his family was forced to relocate to Mexico when the rejection from his experiment forced Griffin and his family out of town.

In 1964, director Carl Lerner would turn Griffin’s novel into a movie starring James Whitmore. The movie received mixed reviews, citing that Whitmore was not convincing as a black man, but the storyline gave the blatant view of racism in America.

(Photo: AP)

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