Between the World and Me; Ta-Nehisi Coates
Spiegel & Grau - 2015
This is one of those books that I might have missed had it not been for several glowing reviews I came across recently. Between the World and Me is one those rare books that is actually quite short but an extremely powerful book.
A memoir of sorts, written in the form of a series of letters by a father to his teenaged son, the author writes about his own life growing up as a black boy in a tough area of Baltimore. He later describes his experiences at Howard University in Washington, DC, referred to as "the Mecca", and then continuing on to present day.
Coates speaks of what it means to grow up living inside a black body. He speaks of the racial inequality in the US, which time and time again has resulted in the often unnecessary use of deadly force on the black man. There is mention of many hot button deadly force cases that have been all over the news in the last several years, as well as the death of a personal acquaintance from Howard University. The author touches on the past from days of slavery and segregation and the inequality upon Blacks through the years.
The story is very personal and though he doesn't answer the questions or issues raised, he certainly has opened the door for serious discussions on a variety of race issues including just how little has changed in the ways many black men are treated in this country. It's a tough read at times, but, an important one. Although there are no magic answers in this book, it seems like an excellent book to introduced in high school curriculums.