Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

Book - 2015
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For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear ... In [this book], Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings--moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people,' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812993547
0812993543
Characteristics: 152 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

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Cascadia Weekly review

Review of Between the World and Me in Cascadia Weekly (Wednesday, October 21, 2015) by WCLS Collection Development Librarian, Mary Kinser.  (more)


From Library Staff

One reader says, "Ta Nehisi Coates' letter to his son is a devastatingly honest, beautifully written, and morally urgent description of what it means to live inside a black body in the 'American Dream.'"  Another reader writes, "Ta-Nehisi Coates' book is heartrending, raw, and gorg... Read More »

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear.

Coates offers a framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men -- bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and... Read More »


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Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Aug 22, 2017

I knew this book was being compared to the works of James Baldwin when I started reading it, and for me it didn’t come anywhere close. I’ve liked what I’ve read by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, but I didn’t feel the same about this book. The book is addressed to Coates’s son, Samori. It’s supposed to be reminiscent of James Baldwin’s letter to his nephew, but that brief letter feels like it was truly written for Baldwin’s nephew. In Between the World and Me the book never feels like it really is for Samori. It is aimed at us, the readers. There is no sense at all of who his son is as a person or their family. There is no intersectionality in the book, with Samori’s mother almost being a passing character.

rosstia5 Jul 06, 2017

This book is a very intimate portrait between an African American father and his son. The author explains his thoughts so eloquently and makes the reader feel like we are in Coates mind and world. The audiobook is especially great since he narrates his own experiences and adds a depth to whats being read. This is an excellent choice for readers who enjoy the human and internal battles of Racism in America.

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becker
Jun 17, 2017

An incredibly dense book. Every sentence is heavy with thought and expression. It is very well written, progressive and is sure to stimulate some deep thinking. If you use audio books, this is an excellent one to listen to. The author narrates it and his voice adds impact. It is a powerful reading experience.

m
MelissaYAReader
Jun 08, 2017

In these letters to his son, the author tries to explain what it is like to be black in America. He talks about the existing racism and the divide between the races. He tries to emphasize the dangers his son will face--dangers a white person wouldn't even consider a danger. The book is open and honest. It looks at our history and where we are now. Very relevant to our times.

l
LaFilm
Jun 05, 2017

Timely, relevant and a must-read...

AL_LESLEY Apr 30, 2017

Beautifully written and heartfelt, this book is important modern social and racial commentary with eye opening revelations made so by the genuine and un-embellished honesty with which it was written.

s
sgcf
Mar 30, 2017

This book is so very intelligent and perceptive; it almost reads like a meditation or poem in its imagery and conciseness of thought. I am distressed by the awesome Truth of it (mine is a righteousness, judgmental distress), because secretly I know it masks my participation as a *person who believes she is White* and subscribes to The Dream that Coates explores.
But it’s not a book for the masses – those who make up the racist society Coates writes about would likely dismiss his reasoning. I agree with the Toni Morrison quote on the book jacket that This is required reading for anyone who wants to grapple with Why racism is so rampant in our society.

cals_joe Mar 23, 2017

Both brilliantly insightful and beautifully written.

c
ClydeCusi
Mar 13, 2017

A really interesting book, if not for the people who spoiled the fun of it.

c
candacerberger
Mar 12, 2017

"Between the World and Me" was incredible, and was made all the more powerful by listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates narrate it. I could feel his pain, his hope, his sorrow, his awe. Coates' prose is brilliant and often left me reaching for a pen to jot down one of his sentences.

This book is short yet powerful enough that I'd like to see it as a reading requirement in high school.

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t
taylorwoods
Feb 17, 2017

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

m
mucho_libro
Jan 14, 2017

I grew up in a house drawn between love and fear. There was no room for softness. But this girl with the long dreads revealed something else -- that love could be soft and understanding; that, soft or hard, love was an act of heroism.

b
blessedOne
Aug 26, 2016

"Never forget that we were enslaved in this country longer than we have been free. Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains - whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains."

s
starsabove
Jun 08, 2016

(This book opens with a quote from Richard Wright that contains the title of the book):

And one morning while in the woods I stumbled suddenly upon the thing, stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly oaks and elms. And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting themselves between the world and me.

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

"Once, the Dream’s parameters were caged by technology and by the limits of horsepower and wind. But the Dreamers have improved themselves, and the damming of seas for voltage, the extraction of coal, the transmuting of oil into food, have enabled an expansion in plunder with no known precedent. And this revolution has freed the Dreamers to plunder not just the bodies of humans but the body of the Earth itself. The Earth is not our creation. It has no respect for us. It has no use for us. And its vengeance is not the fire in the cities but the fire in the sky. Something more fierce is riding on the whirlwind. Something more awful than all our African ancestors is rising with the seas…across the sprawl, is the automobile, the noose around the neck of the earth, and ultimately, the Dreamers themselves.” (150)

bickjd Apr 04, 2016

“…predictions of national doom. I had head such predictions all my life… [I knew] that this was all too pat, knowing that should the Dreamers reap what they had sown, we would reap it right with them. Plunder has matured into habit and addiction; the people who could author the mechanized death of our ghettos, the mass rape of private prisons, then engineer their own forgetting, must inevitably plunder much more. This is not belief in prophecy but in the seductiveness of cheap gasoline."

h
heidikay1
Dec 08, 2015

That was the week you learned that the killers of Michael Brown would go free… and I heard you crying. I came in five minutes after, and I didn’t hug you, and I didn’t comfort you, because I thought it would be wrong to comfort you. I did not tell you it would be okay, because I have never believed it would be okay. What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.

s
shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

“The pursuit of knowing was freedom to me, the right to declare your own curiosities and follow them through all manner of books. I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

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Kyra_Audiophile Sep 12, 2016

Best selling non-fiction book that is advise from an African-American man to his young son, growing up in today's world. Insight into the contemporary African-American male experience.

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s
shayshortt
Sep 17, 2015

Violence: Murders of African American men

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