Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a book given to me by Ms. Jodi Benenson, one of our professors and academic director during my stay at University of Nebraska at Omaha for Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.
Frankly speaking, it took me two months to finish this book because I have been binge-reading on my free time. However, unlike all of those books I didn’t finish because either I was bored or wasn’t just really interested in the topic, there is something with this one that I needed to reach the conclusion.
The book summarizes the long time sacrifices of the new generation of black Americans.
Coates wrote to his young child in this book about his struggles on being a black American in the United States. He stated a number of situations that shaped him and how fear had brought him to what he is now, aspiring for a better world for his child. In fact, as his child grew, he feared of him suffering similarly to those whose bodies were destroyed either in the streets or by authorities. Fear of not owning his body as a black American has haunted him from a young age.
“To be black in the Baltimore of my youth was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all the guns, fists, knives, crack, rape, and disease. The nakedness is not an error, nor pathology. The nakedness is the correct and intended result of policy, the predictable upshot of people forced for centuries to live under fear. The law did not protect us. And now, in your time, the law has become an excuse for stopping and frisking you, which is to say, for furthering the assault on your body. But a society that protects some people through a safety net of schools, government-backed home loans, and ancestral wealth but can only protect you with a club of criminal justice has either failed at enforcing its good intentions or has succeeded at something much darker. However you call it, the result was our infirmity before the criminal forces of the world. It does not matter if the agent of those forces is white or black – what matters is our condition, what matters is the system that makes your body breakable.”
The book is more of a personal memoir slash opinions of Coates as he presented, dissected and concluded about the American racism towards the black bodies.
I won’t go further into a book report because I want you to read and learn from the book firsthand. I highly recommend this book because it is not only moving and informative, it eloquently sends a message about the black struggle directly to the heart.