"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
TITLE: Between the World and Me
AUTHOR: Ta-Nehisi Coates
PUBLISHER: Spiegel and Grau
PUBLISHED DATE: July 14, 2015
Everyone is raving about this book, and not one of the accolades recieved by this mighty work is a lie.
Thoughtful, engaging, moving...an instant classic, Coates has written a letter to his son that exposes the raw emotions of a black father's love for his son as well as a testimony of the black male millenials navigation of the brutality of our society on the black body, spirit, psyche, culture, past, present, and future.
Coate's description of growing up in Baltimore, the frailty of young black masulinity on the mean streets of Baltimore, juxtaposed with his middle class upbringing and black consciousness awakening at his Mecca, Howard University, >>>mine is Tuskegee University<<<, and the historical context in which we find racial divisions blends into an emotional outpouring to not only Coates' son, but all of our sons.
I cried as he described the murder of Prince Jones, and grieved the heartbreak of the black diaspora to have lost so bright a star. I experienced Paris and Baltimore, Prince George's County, and Washington D. C. with my senses - both spiritual and physical. What a beautiful and heartfelt work. A monument for our time, and a very impassioned plea that things need to change. The blatant injustices that permeate our society are at the fabric of not only how young black men and women are treated, but how we view ourselves.
He speaks of the unispiring educational deserts we call schools that seek only to keep young black people out of prison and the coffin, and fail to teach, inspire, and provide a clearer lens in which to view ourselves. He indicted black history month as a period that boasts of passive African Americans who were non-violent in the face of a horrific and brutal society and how deft this message is in communities steeped in violence where fear and the worst trappings of society lay all around our youth to preach messages that don't make sense. He says what we all know to be true.
We are failing our kids.
He doesn't offer a remedy or a "get-healed-quick" scheme. He merely tells the truth. Respectability politics will not save his son, your son, or my son, and it damn sure didn't save Prince Jones or any of the other black bodies headlining the news that were murdered for little to nothing.
A great and moving work.
Audience: Young Adults, Millenials and Beyond
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