Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Book - 2015
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"For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear ... In [this book], Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings--moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Spiegel & Grau,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812993547
0812993543
Branch Call Number: 305.800973 Coates 2015
305.8 COATES
Characteristics: 152 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

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OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

An important book to read to learn about the lives of Black Americans. I learned a lot in the advice/guidance Coates was providing his son.

"It's personal, moving, and eye-opening. The blurb on the book calls it required reading, and it's impossible to disagree."

“Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings--moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race”

Personal journey through race-relations in America.

Dene Oglesby: A book I have recently read is “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I was familiar with Coates’ writing in The Atlantic about reparations and a former colleague of mine, Cammie Weland, recommended I read it to better understand issues facing the African-American community... Read More »


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Vague and wandering account of how sorry Coates feels for himself. Martin Luther King would be disappointed.

CarleeMcDot May 06, 2019

A few days before the hubby and I left for Joshua Tree I saw a friend mention this book as a "game changer" on her Facebook page. I figured I'd throw it on my "for later shelf" at the library so I wouldn't forget, but I noticed the audio book was available and it was only about 3.5 hours long (which would be perfect for the short roadtrip). I scooped it up from the library and the hubby and I listened to it on the way to and from JTree. Other than hearing it was very impactful I wasn't really sure what it was about. This book is written from the father's perspective to a son. The author is telling/ teaching his son about the ways of American culture and how it is essentially built on the back of violence, terror and the backs of others. Although this book focuses on being black in America, I felt like because it was written as a "letter" from a father to a son, it wasn't as pointed as other books that come out blatantly to say "this is what's wrong with America and this is why you suck". (Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe that the plight of blacks in America is real, despicable and something that needs to change, but some books turn off their readers because the audience doesn't like to be accused of their wrongdoings. The way this book was written I felt like I was observing an intimate conversation between a dad and his boy and was able to take away some very important knowledge without automatically being on the defense.) The hubby and I both felt as though we walked away with a better understanding of the systematic issues blacks (and other minorities) face. I think that the only thing that could have made this book better would have been to include actionable ideas on how to change the broken machine we are all a part of. I read books like this and know things need to change, but have a hard time seeing how I can help. Maybe in a tiny way being able to suggest others to read this book, question our environment and have honest and open conversations is one of the first (of many) steps I can take. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

JCLChrisK Apr 26, 2019

This book, man. I come from about as polar opposite a starting point as Coates, so it took me a little bit to get into his groove despite everything I've learned and experienced to bring me closer to his perspective. His words weren't quite clicking into place at first. But then they did, and the more I read and reread the more meaning and impact I take from them. After finishing the book I went to go back and review the beginning and got so caught up I couldn't stop reading. It's that kind of book, the more you read it the better it gets. It says so much about who we are as a nation and yet makes it so personal. As has been said, it is essential and profound.

r
ryner
Apr 08, 2019

Written in the form of a letter to his teenage son, Coates describes in blunt and honest terms what it is like to grow up black in the United States. Everyone seems to love this book, and I wanted to love it too. But while it was distressing and eye-opening, I had a fair amount of difficulty with Coates' writing style, which unfortunately detracted from my overall impression. The meandering, abstract thought, combined with no chapter breaks, was a challenge for this left-brained reader.

k
Karen_Lewis
Mar 07, 2019

must read

m
meeshmorgan
Feb 23, 2019

I grew up as a white girl in inner-city LA and I know the difference between poverty and poverty consciousness. I imagined I knew what it might be to be poor and black. I knew nothing!
This book lays bare facts I dimly comprehended as well as explaining the unfathomable appointment of Donald Trump.
I found this grueling and upsetting to read, but I struggled through it although gaining such insight was painful making me feel furious and helpless. Yet, I was only reading this, NOT experiencing it!
My education began with Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and other books by Gladwell and progressed with Ta -Nehisi Coates.
WHEW!

OPL_MichelleC Jan 16, 2019

An important book to read to learn about the lives of Black Americans. I learned a lot in the advice/guidance Coates was providing his son.

DanielVaniel Dec 19, 2018

At once introspective & profoundly honest, Coates' colloquial-inundated epistle is ratting, brutal, touching, & may have a twinge of hopeful despair (forgiving the contradiction in terms). The discussion & introspection about "race" & the socialisation of supposed ethnographical self-identification are almost alarmingly recounted--while the story almost holds a film-like revisiting of the shared memories of both father and son (the Michael Brown and Treyvon Martin mentions are very emotional, & outside of his perspective very unique.)

This book pulls no punches, & is heightened tremendously through the author's magnetic, meaning-rich voice: the only one that could recount these words.

This book was written as a letter from a father to his 15-year-old son about what it means to have a black body and be a black boy/man in America. It was awesome with great writing. I connected to this in a couple of big ways: I am the same age bracket as the author and his language around “the Dream” really hit home for me….I loved it! (Submitted by JF).

j
jr3083
Oct 22, 2018

See my review at
https://residentjudge.com/2018/10/22/between-the-world-and-me-by-ta-nehisi-coates/

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abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

For their innocence, they nullify your anger, your fear, until you are coming and going, and you find yourself inveighing against yourself -- 'Black people are the only people who ...' -- really inveighing against your own humanity and raging against the crime in your ghetto, because you are powerless before the great crime of history that brought the ghettos to be.

t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

m
mucho_libro
Jan 14, 2017

I grew up in a house drawn between love and fear. There was no room for softness. But this girl with the long dreads revealed something else -- that love could be soft and understanding; that, soft or hard, love was an act of heroism.

b
blessedOne
Aug 26, 2016

"Never forget that we were enslaved in this country longer than we have been free. Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains - whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains."

s
starsabove
Jun 08, 2016

(This book opens with a quote from Richard Wright that contains the title of the book):

And one morning while in the woods I stumbled suddenly upon the thing, stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly oaks and elms. And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting themselves between the world and me.

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

"Once, the Dream’s parameters were caged by technology and by the limits of horsepower and wind. But the Dreamers have improved themselves, and the damming of seas for voltage, the extraction of coal, the transmuting of oil into food, have enabled an expansion in plunder with no known precedent. And this revolution has freed the Dreamers to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself. The Earth is not our creation. It has no respect for us. It has no use for us. And its vengeance is not the fire in the cities but the fire in the sky. Something more fierce is riding on the whirlwind. Something more awful than all our African ancestors is rising with the seas…across the sprawl, is the automobile, the noose around the neck of the earth, and ultimately, the Dreamers themselves.” (150)

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

“…predictions of national doom. I had head such predictions all my life… [I knew] that this was all too pat, knowing that should the Dreamers reap what they had sown, we would reap it right with them. Plunder has matured into habit and addiction; the people who could author the mechanized death of our ghettos, the mass rape of private prisons, then engineer their own forgetting, must inevitably plunder much more. This is not belief in prophecy but in the seductiveness of cheap gasoline."

h
heidikay1
Dec 08, 2015

That was the week you learned that the killers of Michael Brown would go free… and I heard you crying. I came in five minutes after, and I didn’t hug you, and I didn’t comfort you, because I thought it would be wrong to comfort you. I did not tell you it would be okay, because I have never believed it would be okay. What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.

s
shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

“The pursuit of knowing was freedom to me, the right to declare your own curiosities and follow them through all manner of books. I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

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shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

Violence: Murders of African American men

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