So, Griffin doesn't want to be a shoe shiner anymore, but tough—no one wants to hire him. We'll give you three guesses why.
He notices that black people are crazy nice to him, going out of their way just to help him and refusing payment.
One day he goes to the YMCA Café and those guys are talking up a storm, as usual. This time it's about why many black people don't become educated.
Basically because the attitude is, "Well if I can't get a job anyway, what's the point?" They need equal job opportunities, but how to convince white people to give it to them?
After that conversation, Griffin goes over to the French Quarter to depress himself by looking at all the restaurants that he used to eat at as a white man, ones that he can't even stare at for too long as a black man.
Then he experiences racism without even knowing it, when a white man tells him not to sit in Jackson Square—not because black people are not allowed in there, but because he just doesn't want him there.
After realizing that it's not really safe to sit down anywhere, Griffin starts riding the bus around town just so that he can sit.