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A bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”
In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratificiation of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up, and killed in our streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry, and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path toward a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is.
Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.
I am a white middle-aged woman who was raised in the south. We had "help" in our home. But we treated them like family and believed we were in no way prejudiced. I know now that is just not true, though we meant better. I am trying to understand the issues so I can be a better neighbor, friend, and citizen in this country. Ta-Nehisi Coates has written an exceptional book that has helped me to make a profound shift toward my goal. I could not recommend his writing more highly. Ellen Wood on 25th Jul 2016
Coates displays courage, might and transparency that exceeds the need for external validation. This book is a must read for all living throughout the Americas and the other five continents. freedom kahlo on 18th Aug 2015
the best book of the year!! Unknown on 13th Aug 2015
Thanks so much for writing this amazing book. I watched you as a young drummer with Sankofa Dance Theater many years ago. Long ago sewing the seeds of connectedness and community. Congratulations and many thanks for this gift to so many. P. Halle1348 on 10th Aug 2015
|Publisher:||Spiegel & Grau|
|Publication Date:||July 14, 2015|