My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Between the World and Me is written as a letter to Coates’ son Samori, a teen at the time of publication. A heartbreaking revelation of the hardships his son will face for merely being black in America, Coates draws from history and tells of his own experiences growing up in Baltimore to tell how the American dream is built upon the bodily harm of black people.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is not much hope conveyed… there isn’t much nod to progress made which has been criticism I have seen. However, written as imparting wisdom to your child, he would be blamed for whitewashing an evil reality.
With the barrage of stories of young black men being targeted and killed by the police, of being so disproportionately represented in prison, it is my hope that taking home the 2015 National Book Award will get Between the World And Me a wide audience. I listened to Coates himself read the audiobook and can highly recommend it.
I really don’t know what more to say about this title. For me, this book made me realize that though I try to empathize with everyone around me, there is simply no way that I will ever fully understand what it is to be black in America. But by reading this and other works that reveal how the sausage has been made in this country, I hope that I can become better at spotting the ingrained racial disparities that surround us every day.