Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates

On my continued journey of unlearning societal racism and learning to be a better ally I came across the book Between the World and Me by Ta-nehisi Coates.

This book is different than any other book that I have read because it is a letter to Ta-nehisi’s son. Although this did confuse me for a bit because for some reason I thought it was written as a letter to himself from his father. I don’t know why I thought this… but I figured it out.

a phone on a white table with the cover of Between the world and me on it. The cover is an off-white with big bold black Ta-nehisi Coates at the top. A small black dash and then in the same font Between the world and me. On the left side of the cover it the is a small amount of text down the cover. The text is not legible

Between the World and Me tells the story of growing up as a black male. He describes a lot of the issues that many black males face. He also describes the differences between what he dealt with and issues that his son might/has come across.

One thing that I picked up on was Coates continually is telling his son about how someone could endanger his body. The wording really stood out to me because it put a different visual in my mind that I never thought about.

I think that he worded it this way because of the ongoing struggle that black people have in daily life. There is a constant fear that someone could easily harm them or kill them.

“I am ashamed of how I acted that day, ashamed of endangering your body. But I am not ashamed because I am a bad father, a bad individual or ill mannered. I am ashamed that I made an error, knowing that our errors always cost us more.”

this quote is referring to a part in the book where a white woman pushed his son and he called her out. It ended like a mob of white people threatening him with calling the cops.

In this quote he references endangering your body, knowing that there is a chance that someone could hurt/kill him (the cops). Just mentioning calling the cops is used by the white people playing on that common fear and they know what they are doing. This is a very similar situation like the Amy Copper issue in NYC (a more noteworthy and recent reference)

Further along in the book Coates references to a Mecca which is Howard University. This bit also confused me because the only Mecca that I knew about was Mecca in Saudi Arabia and its relation to the Muslim religion. Once Coates kept calling it the Mecca I figured it was because Howard University is a Historically Black University (HBCU). Come to find out Howard University is one of the most prestigious HBCUs and is referred to as the Mecca.

We see him referencing this while he is an adult once he had gone to Howard. This open him up to a whole new world and many experiences which I won’t explain here because you should really read it.

Anywho, this book is a great book like all the books I have written about before. I will say make sure that you can focus on the book wholeheartedly. I was really only able to read the book for a small amount of time because I kept distracting myself. This book is not very long, it should have taken me a day to read… it took me way longer.

Because of not being able to focus on the book I have requested it as an audio book and will be going back to listen to it.

I am going to give this book a 5-star review. It is a great book and it walks you through the life of a black man who faced a lot of racism. I liked it because that is something that I never experienced and it gives me a better idea of what others feel.

5 pink stars in a line

Now that it is October start looking for some spooky halloween posts! I am looking forward to writing them!

Until next time