2015 Reading: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

coatesBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Justifiably, this book won the 2015 National Book Award for non-fiction. In my estimation, this is one of the most important books published in recent memory.

While African Americans will probably find this all too familiar, it is important for white Americans to try, at least, to understand what black Americans, especially men, go through every single day in this country. How can we ever understand the privilege we have unless we are aware of its opposite.

Coates, a terrific writer, lays it all out for us, with plenty of examples of what it’s really like for a black man in America. The story is told in the form of a letter to his son, and acknowledges that the world has already changed somewhat. I found this to be a hopeful note, a suggestion that things are getting better. But others with whom I have discussed the book (my bookclub, Reading Liberally, read it for our December meeting), saw that differently.

It’s an important book. Read it.

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