John Howard Griffin wants to understand the black experience in Texas in 1959. So, he decided to undergo medical treatment to alter his skin color to temporarily become a black man.
Griffin moved to New Orleans to begins his life as a black man. Eventually, he looks in the mirror and he appears black. He decides that it's time to explore the black community.
While Griffin was expecting prejudice and hardship, he didn't know the true extent of the oppression. He was insulted at almost every street corner.
"Nigger! This town isn't for your kind!"
After several difficult days in New Orleans, he decides to hitchhike throughout Mississippi and Alabama, the deep south. He finds that conditions for blacks are somehow even more appalling there.
He finds that the black community in Montgomery, Alabama is extremely determined and energized due to the efforts of a black preacher by the name of Martin Luther King Jr.
Griffin concludes that the races do not understand each other at all. Many interviews follow, as well as an article about his endeavors. His story spreads around the world, but Griffin and his family receive many hateful remarks and threats. He eventually has to move his family to Mexico because of the threats.