Between the World and Me

Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me is a raw reminder of the legacy of oppression that America has levied on its black citizens. Coates discusses how easily society devalues non-white bodies, stealing autonomy and life as a reminder that the pact promising life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is just that: a pledge easily broken by a gun, judicial system, or both.  Coates explores the death of Prince Jones, who was killed in 2000 by a police officer, and reminds us that Jones is only one of the forgotten dead. 

This book contextualizes the current societal strains and juxtaposes the optimism that America has about the legacy of civil rights with the reality that equality has not been solidified for all. Bills are continuously introduced at state levels to restrict voting access, white citizens cling to a flag that represents slavery, and one's body is still easily stolen by someone in authority. This great read knits together the historical legacy of racial oppression with the current racial strains in the United States. Give it a read! 

Age Range: 
High School and Up
Year: 
2015