Between the World and Me

“ This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you ca find some way to live within the all of it. ”

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his on, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation ’ s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the notio of “ race, ” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and discriminatio, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how should we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates ’ s ttempt to answer hese questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in a world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children ’ s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and provide a transcendent vision for a way forward.
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Original Title of the Book
Between the World and Me
Publication Date
Published July 14th 2015 by Spiegel & Grau

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Coates book deserves to be a classic, just as much as The Life of Frederick Douglass, The Souls of Black Folk, The Fire Next Time, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X—all first-class books—deserve it.

At any moment your body could be controlled, violated, by the hands or weapons of another—often by the policemen employed by “ the Dreamers, ” those who define themselves as white in America and wish to preserve for themselves the privileges of the American Dream.

Coates describes his odyssey from the narrow streets of Baltimore, to the black “ Mecca ” of Howard University, to the diverse neighborhoods of NYC, and to his encounter with a profoundly different culture on the oulevards of Paris.

Perhaps it is no by realizing that the body is ultimately all we have that we can finally get our priorities straight, stop believing in forms of “ magic ” like “ salvation ” or “ the Dream ” or " progress, " and instead concentrate on making sure that the bodies of all young people are protected and respected, so that each may discover the world with her own unique eyes.Between the World and Me is undoubtedly a great ook.

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Despite the privilege of receiving a free book, I ’ m absolutely candid about it below because I believe authors and readers will benefit most from honest reviews rather than vacuous 5-star reviews.Written in the form of a letter from a son to a fathe, " Between the World and Me " is a detailed crystallization of the state of racism in our country today and its historical roots throughout the entire history of our country.

My normal review format is to prattle on about positive and negative aspects of book but in th case I think it 's really more important to the potential reader that they kno what exactly it is that they 're getting.For those who nee a light breezy primer on racism ...

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Not often the recounting of personal experience and private feelings comes off as dull, narcissistic, and unnecessary, but on occasion memoir transcends itself and is ble to speak to something much bigge than one person 's life with an authority that nothing else can.It does n't eed to be said but I 'll point out anyway that a lot of his book 's success has to do with timing.

In he past two weeks we 've heard Sandra Bland 's traffic stop and watched Samuel DuBose be murdered before our eyes and the trauma of witnessing these things, and the rest from the past ear, has left pretty much everyone looking for answers.This book did partially answer a huge question I 've had for years that I 'm sure a lot of other uninformed white people have but that 's too offensive and embarrassing to ask black parents directly, which is, " What do you ell your kids?

I eel like when I was a kid I did n't quite get that that actually happened, and later when I was a teenager I did n't hink it was very serious, but when I grew up I finally saw that this was it, this was huge, this was totall the only stuf that there was that mattered.

Between the World and Me 's main orientation is corporal: it 's concerned with what happens to a person 's body as ultimately the sole important thing.

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Steven in his book reduces America to basically two categories: The Dreamers, ( White Americans) and the rest being Black folk.

Coates' inability to explain American oppression outside of mere anti-black racism is also troubling in its banality.

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ess than an hour ago ( on 7/26/2015) I finished reading Ta-Nehisi Coates ’ book, Between the World and Me. As I read the ast sentence, “ Through the windshield I saw the rain coming down in sheets, ” I was involuntarily overcome with inexplicable, yet wholly warranted emotion.

I wept because Coates' story was my story from my early experiences as a student at Morehouse College ( the Harvard of the South) to the wanderer ( and discoverer) of beauty upon the Parisian landscape, to accepting my unexpected role as an English teacher in a tough and directionless Baltimore City, to my exploration and rebirth, producing who I am today.Like so many, I was immediately taken to the oft quoted, extensively analyzed and eternally relevant essay, The Fire Next Time, written in 1962 by James Baldwin, as “ letter ” to his ephew, written I suppose, for all the brother in the world to analyze and digest.

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I often felt like it was everythin I needed to read at that moment, and I 'm ery glad I did.Between the World and Me is written as a letter/essay from Coates to his fifteen-year-old on, trying to ome to terms with what it means to grow up as an African American male in 2015.

He believes ( as I perceiv it) that racial conflict is in itself an artificial construct and part of the Dream that keeps one group in power over another.This is not thi book written to explain the African American experience to white people ( or as Coates likes to say, people who elieve they are white.) As a middle-aged white guy, I am in no way the intended audience for th memoi.

( There again: I almost said 'the world he will inherit,' but Coates would be quick to point out that this is white thinking.

We grow up believing we can inherit the future of our country, whereas African Americans grow up hearing a very different message.) Coates' most powerful assertion: doing violence to the African American body is an American legacy and tradition.

As much as may have changed in the past ecades, the past centuries, the basic fear of African American parents remains: that their parent wil be snatched away, brutalized, killed for the smallest of reasons or no reason at all, and quite often this violence is never addressed as anything more than an unavoidable force of nature like a hurricane.We all tend to gravitate toward books that reflect our own experience, toward characters who look and act the way we do.

I elieve many white readers, if they are honest with themselves, will think, If I 'm a white person, why hould I read ook about African Americans?

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I was both very impressed and frustrated with Ta-Nehisi Coates ’ Between the World and Me. Written as a letter to his cousin, Coates presents racism and white privilege as a visceral experience, with much discussion, especially early in thi ook about what it means to lose your ( black) body.

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" But all our phrasing- race relations, racial chasms, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy- serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. "- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me A couple of month ago I posted on Twitter a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme entitled

Although most literature is focused on the USA, so many of us who do n't live there understand to a certain extent the experiences. [ image error ] "/> Jean-Léon Gérôme- " Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind. " So I read this eloquent and detailed response to the world, a letter to Ta-Nehisi Coate 's teenage son, and I 'm lad I did.

And I do n't worr if all the epercussions of living in such a world were completely evident to them because perhaps they expected racism and hardships for several reasons, but for someone like me who was raised in the West, my thoughts have always been " I am stil one of you, your society socialized me, why do I still feel this feeling of unbelonging? " The last severa years have been very trying and we 're dealing with a lot of backlash from discourses about race and what to do about racism.

I often see the onus is on marginalized people to change their ways of reacting to racism, and when I writ the nove I am more aware of how pervasive racism is in all parts of society, and the effects it has on minorities living in these societies. " We were black, beyond the visible spectrum, beyond civilization.

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© Nicole Waggonner