Between the World and Me


Format: Dead Trees

Source: Public Library

Rating: 4.5

“The streets were not my only problem. If the streets shackled my right leg, then school shackled my left. Fail to comprehend the streets you give up your body now. But fail to comprehend school and you gave up your body later.”

What is it like to grow up black, I have no idea.  But Coates has a beautiful way with words.  Very few writers are able to pen emotions.  This is Coates. This book talks about growing up in Baltimore, and how school was hard, how the streets were hard, and how he struggled to find his place.  He discusses how he found Malcolm X highly intriguing because not only was he tough, but educated.

“Things I believed merely a week earlier, I had taken from one book, could be smashed to splinters by another.”

“Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains- generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains.”

Coates discusses his education and understanding to his son.  He wants his son to learn himself.  But he wants his son to understand the struggle, from what he went through and discusses what his parents went through.

All in all, this is a very beautifully written memoir and probably one of the best books I have ever read on race and the true struggle.



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