In Between the World and Me, Coates write to his fifteen-year-old son, Samori, about questions regarding the nation’s history, culture, racial struggles and his experiences living in a black body in America.
Forgetting about the past and the pain that comes with it is easy, but remembering and understanding is very hard. Coates talks about ‘The Dreamers’, who have forgotten the origins of this country’s wealth and seek to preserve themselves in this countries privileges, backed by systems that have robbed and imprisoned a generation of peoples.
Throughout the rest of the book, I felt his pain and anger. I saw a man who had given up faith in beliefs of a higher faith, in a broken educational, judicial and cultural system and who saw the American Dream as a destructive illusion. I wondered to myself, what would my father write to me? I had no father to ask this advice. Raised by a single mother, who was breaking under the pressure of the world, I could not ask these questions as she always pointed me towards asking God; there was no response. If I had read this when I was Coates, son’s age, would I have accepted his message and done the choices I have made?
As a young black male, a lot of the experiences the would be documented in this book very well apply to me. I've made personal decisions to avoid the news but word of the injustices done to unarmed black males still gets through to me. I expect to be uncomfortable reading this. I expect to gain new awareness. I want to be open to what Coates has to say.
Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
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