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Between the World and Me

de Ta-Nehisi Coates

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7,7793691,154 (4.37)444
"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. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, 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. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here"--… (mais)
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Inglês (358)  Francês (3)  Espanhol (2)  Catalão (1)  Piratês (1)  Todos os idiomas (365)
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I don't doubt or disagree with anything he said but it made me feel hopeless, racist and unaware of the extent of my white privilege and his black agony living here in a time of horror for people of other races. I bemoan his having to crush his son with the truths and experiences he has. I wish it were otherwise and that his writing the book would make it so. I want to read Baldwin's The Fire Next Time now since it too was constructed as a letter, a personal letter to a nephew, with the powerful talent of a truly great writer. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
From reviews and other secondary accounts, I'd gathered one of Coates's key positions here is that the American Dream is in fact a charade, allowing whites to continue abusing blacks even as they believe the reason(s) for the black nation's current situation lie entirely with the choices made / lesser capabilities of / beliefs held by those black people. After reading, this is indeed a major statement: the Dream relies upon exploitation, specifically that variant maintained by White Supremacists.

And this particular Dream relies too upon complicity: depends upon those who benefit from it, allowing it to continue. "The mettle that it takes to look away from the horror of our prison system, from police forces transformed into armies, from the long war against the black body, is not forged overnight. This is the practiced habit of jabbing out one's eyes and forgetting the work of one's hands." [98]

Coates does not frame the point as the American Dream depending in principle upon racial terror in order to work, merely that it does so in fact. A key question for me, then: Is the American Dream feasible, workable for all people, without the underpinnings of racial terror or even racial inequality? (And: is racial inequality ever pragmatic without racial terror? They are separate, to be sure, but can the one effectively exist without the other, given human nature? To replace "racial inequality" with any other basis for inequality, remains substantially the same question.)

//

Rhetorically clever of Coates to address the essay to black people, and pointedly to his son. If economically successful, the book would be read by more white people than black, this would have been abundantly clear to Coates. I find myself on the margins of a conversation never addressed to me, yet just as clearly intended for me. The observations, criticisms, characterisations ... I can take offense, of course: readers always have open to them any reaction whatsoever. But a moment's reflection makes it clear, these barbs land only if I steer them toward myself. (A white body.) They were not thrown my way. It lends another layer of significance to any sufficiently self-aware reader.

//

Various quotes from Baldwin reinforce my intention to read his essays. "The people who believe they are white." [42, 133]

Title borrowed from a Richard Wright poem, and Coates uses the opening lines as epigraph. These were new to me, and an ugly shock. I imagine they are familiar to many black Americans.

Originally the idea was to create a review exclusively from selected quotations: my notes identify enough to do this, still would provide a worthwhile summary of the essay. ( )
  elenchus | Mar 28, 2024 |
(3.75 Stars)

I really liked this book. I read the audiobook version narrated by the author. He is a powerful voice. It is not a long book, so there is no excuse not to read this one. ( )
  philibin | Mar 25, 2024 |
Eye-opening (if you're not black) account of what an intelligent man thinks of being a black American. Hard to read if you like to think of America as a fair society. Set as a letter to the author's teenage son, the author speaks mostly from his own experience, warning his son what to expect from America as an adult - it won't be entirely bleak, but it won't be pretty. ( )
  rscottm182gmailcom | Mar 12, 2024 |
This book is earth-moving. Ta-Nehisi Coates uses words like not many other writers I've read. ( )
  bookonion | Mar 10, 2024 |
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Between the World and Me is, in important ways, a book written toward white Americans, and I say this as one them. White Americans may need to read this book more urgently and carefully than anyone, and their own sons and daughters need to read it as well. This is not to say this is a book about white people, but rather that it is a terrible mistake for anyone to assume that this is just a book about nonwhite people. In the broadest terms Between the World and Me is about the cautious, tortured, but finally optimistic belief that something beyond these categories persists. Implicit in this book’s existence is a conviction that people are fundamentally reachable, perhaps not all of them but enough, that recognition and empathy are within grasp, that words and language are capable of changing people, even if—especially if—those words are not ones people prefer to hear.
adicionado por elenchus | editarslate.com, Jack Hamilton (Jul 9, 2015)
 
In the scant space of barely 160 pages, Atlantic national correspondent Coates (The Beautiful Struggle) has composed an immense, multifaceted work. This is a poet's book, revealing the sensibility of a writer to whom words—exact words—matter....It's also a journalist's book, not only because it speaks so forcefully to issues of grave interest today, but because of its close attention to fact...As a meditation on race in America, haunted by the bodies of black men, women, and children, Coates's compelling, indeed stunning, work is rare in its power to make you want to slow down and read every word. This is a book that will be hailed as a classic of our time.
adicionado por theaelizabet | editarPublishers Weekly
 

» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Ta-Nehisi Coatesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cornets de Groot, Rutger H.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Cunningham, CarolineDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mollica, GregDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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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...


—Richard Wright
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For David and Kenyatta,
who believed
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Son,
Last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body.
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Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains—whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains.
At that point in American history, no police department fired its guns more than that of Prince George's County.
Shortly before you were born, I was pulled over by the PG County cops...I sat there in terror...He handed back my license. He gave no explanation for the stop.
The need to forgive the officer would not have moved me, back because even then, in some inchoate form, I knew that Prince was not killed by a single officer so much as he was murdered by his country and all the fears that have marked it from birth.
The plunder of black life was drilled into this country in its infancy and reinforced across its history, so that plunder has become an heirloom, an intelligence, a sentience, a default setting to which, likely to the end of our days, we must invariably return.
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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. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, 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. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here"--

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