Friday, April 22, 2016
In Between the World and Me, the author Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the book to write a letter to his son. Here is a poignant excerpt that will give you a flavor of his passionate letter:
"It does not matter that the "intentions" of individual educators were noble. Forget about intentions. What any institution, or its agents, "intend" for you is secondary. Our world is physical. Learn to play defense—ignore the head and keep your eyes on the body. Very few Americans will directly proclaim that they are in favor of black people being left to the streets. But a very large number of Americans will do all they can to preserve the Dream." (page 33)
As soon as I reached page 30 of the book, my mind wandered to another book, Black Like Me (1961) by John Howard Griffen, which I read in college. It gave me a similar insight, albeit that was the late 60s and Coates wrote his book in 2015. Between the World and Me was a perfect follow-up book to Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (See my April 9th post).