Recently a few people who follow my site have asked me to write reviews on the books I’m reading, so today I decided to do just that. Understand that I am in no way some type of literary critic in any type of professional capacity, I’m just a dude giving my quick thoughts on the books that I’m reading and if that inspires you to pick up these books to read them…more power to you.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of Between The World And Me. If you are unfamiliar with Ta-Nehisi Coates, you may be familiar with some of his other works that have gained him notoriety. Ta-Nehisi Coates penned an excellent piece titled The Case for Reparations which in my opinion should be required reading for every Black American. Ta-Nehisi Coates is also the writer for the comic book series Black Panther for Marvel Comics, which is credited with being one of the best selling comic books of 2016. So if you are not familiar with Ta-Nehisi Coates, I suggest you become familiar because more than likely he will go down in history as one of the most respected Black authors of the 21st century.
Between The World And Me is a book where Ta-Nehisi Coates has basically penned an open letter to his young son to explain to his child on what it means to be Black in America. Ta-Nehisi Coates doesn’t just go the stereotypical route of pointing out the atrocities of slavery, segregation, & the criminal justice system; rather he goes way deeper in telling a story about how he came to understand personally what it means to be Black in America not just through the eyes of how white America sees Black people, but also through the eyes of how Black people view ourselves as a byproduct of racism & white supremacy. Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about his upbringing in Baltimore, MD where he tries to make sense of the world around him & why Black people feel this need to present a constant facade of being “hard” or why Black parents choose to embrace corporal punishment onto their children. Through these moments of self-discovery, he realizes Black people who primarily come from ubran areas consciously or unconsciously embrace this lifestyle simply as a mechanism for preservation…right or wrong. Black Americans, especially those us who have descended from slaves have been severely damaged by the wrath of white supremacy to the point where each & every one of us has to be on constant guard for the safety of our physical body not only from those outside of the Black community, but from those within the Black community as well. Ta-Nehisi Coates brilliantly breaks this point down about the physical Black body being on constant assault day in & day out whether the body is out in the streets just trying to live life, in the academic environment or the professional environment. Every moment of every day presents an opportunity for the Black body to literally be erased from existence and this is the main point in the book he attempts to drive home in order for his young son to fully comprehend the world he was born into and shall inherit.
I highly recommend this book for anybody looking to gain a different perspective on why there is a non-stop assault on Black society, whether that assault is coming from the outside or the inside. If I had to give it a rating on scale of 1 – 5, with 1 being the lowest & 5 being the highest…Between The World And Me gets 5 stars. Go read the book.