Black Like Me 1961 At the time race relations in America were particularly strained and Griffin aimed to explain the difficulties that black people faced in certain areas. Under the care of a doctor, Griffin artificially darkened his skin to pass as a black man. In 1964, a film version of Black Like Me starring James Whitmore was produced. Robert Bonazzi subsequently published the book Man in the Mirror: John Howard Griffin and the Story of Black Like Me. The title of the book is taken from the last line of the Langston Hughes poem "Dream Variations".