Radikal Readings: Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me has sat on my bookshelf for months. Was it the tremendous accolades that prevented me from picking it up? I have a tendency to put books that are in the spotlight on the back burner for fear they might not live up to my expectation of them. That is not the case with Between the World and Me. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of my favorite writers. The way he weaves narratives is so eloquent and detailed. The book is a series of essays, written as a letter to his teenage son confronting the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history. I can’t begin to imagine the pain many black people face when raising their children in this world. Coates’s stories of his friend shot and killed by the police, and his discussion of education add so much depth to the conversation.

I couldn’t even begin to write a “review” of this book, but I can examine how much I love Coates’s writing style. It is full of profound quotes and passages that stayed with me weeks later. There aren’t easy solutions offered up in this book, instead, it is full of unyielding truths that every American should read.

“We were black, beyond the visible spectrum, beyond civilization. Our history was inferior because we were inferior, which is to say our bodies were inferior. And our inferior bodies could not possibly be accorded the same respect as those that built the West.”

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