Recommended Reads (April) – Between the World and Me

Recommended Reads (April) – Between the World and Me

Adopt A Class is excited to share our April Recommended Read.

This month, Program Manager, Courtney Burgtorf, read Between the World and Me by . Below is her review. Check it out:

“I was gifted Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates by a good friend in 2020. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, we had had many conversations about our upbringings, race, gender, and the affects each has on our experiences and world views. He handed me this book and told me to take my time and read it. Reading this book was necessary and eye-opening, an unapologetic exploration of the ugly truths and realities of those who inhibit black bodies in the United States.

Coates writes this book as an open letter to his teenage son. In it, he reflects on the truths he has learned over the years as a black man, from growing up in Baltimore in the early 90s, to attending HBCU Howard University, to his experiences in the diverse neighborhoods of NYC, to his world widening exploration of the different cultures of Paris, etc. Through intimate stories and revelatory reflections, Coates dives deep into his views on the falsehood of “race” (“…race is the child of racism, not the father”), the falsehood of the “American Dream,” the actualities of “the Dreamers” (those who perpetuate systemic racism and White Supremacy), and the affects these have on all people.

Although only 152 pages in length, I found myself picking up and putting down this book time and time again. Coates writes in a unique style with a rawness and honesty that only a parent can have with their child, especially a parent that fears for the wellbeing of their child in a world they have no control. Although Coates’ worldviews do air on the side of bleak, it is this raw and honest assessment of the world he grew up in and the world his son is growing up in that kept me reading. In his assessment of the world, Coates writes to his son, “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people feel comfortable…I would not have you descend into your dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.”

I encourage you to sit in the uncomfortableness of Coates’ open letter to his son and reflect on how you have either benefited from or have been hurt by White Supremacy and the “American Dream.” Do not though go into this book expecting answers or solutions to the problems the system was built upon and has created.

Finally, if interested in purchasing this, or any, book, I encourage you to buy from an Independent Bookstore. The last Saturday of April is Independent Bookstore Day. To find a Indie Bookstore near you, visit Indie Bound.”

To purchase Between the World and Me, click the link below:

Between the World and Me – Joseph Beth Books

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