I agree that it is sad for a white spokesman to be “necessary.” My point, though, is that all the other books I read back then by Black authors did move me deeply, and I felt pain and outrage at their mistreatment and struggles. I felt this on a gut human level. My spirit was moved, and they are why I stay involved in the struggle. However, as a young white girl who had never met a Black person, Griffith’s book spoke to my whiteness, and made me viscerally understand my own prejudices and privilege. Him being the spokesman wasn’t necessary, but it was valuable. I wish I could explain my experience of it better. I believe if we could discuss this in person we might make a real breakthrough in communication between ethnicities.
I guess it’s hard for me to call it blackface, since when I have seen blackface it has been malicious. But I can see the blackface reference, and am glad to hear you include your own participation in the hard line.