Between The World And Me

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Between the World and Me

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90 reviews for Between The World And Me

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  1. F. L. Massiah

    Excellent read. Shows how it is growing up black in America. Completely different experience to mainstream populace. Sadly after the small gains made in the 60’s seem to have been completely eroded in recent years. Institutionalized racism is very much present and stifles the aspirations of young black men in modern day America…..

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  2. Kindle Customer

    I belong to a church group which is learning about the Black experience through reading books such as this.

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  3. Jennifer Martinelli

    Excellent book. Literally everyone should read this. Also, it arrived in perfect condition from the seller.

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  4. Amazon Customer

    This wasn’t an easy read. I could feel myself try to reject what was uncomfortable or confronting. But I reminded myself to stay open and feel his experiences from his point of view. And I was rewarded. I have lots of questions, and lots of feelings. But I’m grateful for this book.

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  5. jroyal

    Love his writing style! A heavy topic with a seed of hope.

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  6. Lori Laliberte

    With poetry and power, this book changed my view of American life. I can’t recommend it enough.

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  7. Amazon Customer

    Even though it took some time to get here, it was worth it. It even brought a bookmark, nice.

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  8. tamika

    Great book!

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  9. LabMAK

    I read this book with a group and it is very moving. As a person who is steeped in white privilege and is just beginning to understand what that means, this book is very helpful. I have no way of knowing what it’s like to be a black man – all the fear it brings each day – unless I educate myself and this book really opened my eyes. I am grateful for the author’s honestly and outstanding writing skills. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about institutional racism.

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  10. moe

    Loved this book. It was a love letter to black men who survived poverty and made it to the middle class. It affirms that one is not crazy having code switched, two faced and ‘hustled’ your way out of countless life or death situations. It affirms but that terrorizing black communities is as American as apple pie. (Terrorism is random acts of violence that create fear, paranoia and change behavior, right?) It’s so American, African American’s join the party in the name of ‘living the American dream.’ And yet, we have an obligation to these children to discourage them being terrorist and terrorized. We have an obligation to get them further ahead than we got. We have an obligation to love them today. Not if, not when, today.

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  11. gary mcdonald

    I’ve a bit more understanding now about how hard it is being a young black manin a rough neighborhood in a white-dominated country, which is difficult for meto acquire, being an old white man raised in a benign California beach town

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  12. A. Lochman

    Very interesting perspective on life in the black community. MKes me as a white mother, very sad and ashamed.

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  13. Omitade Adediran

    Written as a series of letters/essays to his son, an exchange of experiences of living Black in America. The book is a well-written expression of questions that can challenge us to think in different ways that we are typically coached to think and to consider alternate explanations and perhaps lead to other paths to recovery.

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  14. Felecia B. Pettiway

    The format: Presented to son as a letter.

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  15. Harold Avery

    Gave as a gift .

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  16. Corney Korokan ALONE

    Startling piece of art that is worthy to grace the halls of state legislators and congressional offices – and very timely,might I add.Like you, Ta-Nehisi Coates, “that invention of internet was the invention of space travel for me too to explore beyond the diluted news/TV bites (unintentional or not) of Americansphere” that is.Thank you for masterfully telling your centuries old story – to the world.

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  17. John P. Jones III

    First reviewed in August, 2016. Reposted February 5, 2023Way back at the beginning of time, that is, the 1960’s, Richard Wright and James Baldwin were obligatory reading for me, and I have read much of their work. I still recall a black woman in Atlanta damning me with faint praise: “I think you are a moderate liberal.” Likewise, the lyrics of an old Phil Ochs song, “Love me, I am a liberal” have rolled around in my head: “…and I knew all the old union hymns.” Nowadays, I suppose, Wright and Baldwin ARE “the old union hymns.” America has made so much progress in race relations since the “Amos and Andy Show” was the only authorized black presence on TV, and Jackie Robinson proved that a black man could play in professional sports. Some blacks are now “truffled” in my neighborhood. There is a Black Caucus in Congress, and then there is the matter of the President… Progress.But there is also the stagnation, and backlash. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book concerns the latter. His first name is derived from an old Egyptian word for Nubia, the area to the south of them that was inhabited by blacks. The New York Times review of this book underscored the similarities, and delineated the differences between this work and Baldwin’s (The Fire Next Time). Both take the structure of an older black man telling a much younger black man the (racial) “facts of life” in America. In Baldwin’s case, it was to his nephew, in Coates, it is to his son.Coates grew up “on the wrong side of the tracks” in Baltimore. At least, that is what it was called in Baldwin’s time. Perhaps it still is. A tough neighborhood. A war zone, literal, and of sorts. A lot of psychic energy is spent just trying to stay alive… of watching for what is out of place on the “trail” to school, and does that bring danger? Coats quantifies this, in terms of brain time, at 33%. Cuts down on your time for writing the next “killer app.” Another quantification: “At the onset of the Civil War, our stolen bodies were worth four billion dollars, more than all of American industry, all of American railroads, workshops, and factories combine, and the prime product rendered by our stolen bodies – cotton – was America’s prime export. The richest men in America lived in the Mississippi River Valley, and they made their riches off our stolen bodies.” He provides no basis for the four billion figure… and for those who would dispute it, is it double or half? I recently read and reviewed (Ghosts along the Mississippi), with the subtitle that includes “magic”. There was nothing magically about it. Far more than an abstract four billion, those “ghosts” of old mansions quantify what was stolen.His is a staccato writing style; the “takeaways” of a 1000 page book. Concerning schools, quotes worthy of Paul Goodman: “I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance…Schools did not reveal truths, they concealed them.” He questions the meek acceptance and embrace of the “tear gas” of passive resistance. He admires Malcom X. Coates names 10-15 black men who have been killed by the police, the police that he says are so instrumental in fulfilling America’s will on race relations. Coates went to the black “Mecca,” Howard University, in Washington, DC, and was dazzled by the variety that is encompassed by that word: “blackness.” He finds love on more than one occasion.Prince Jones, a fellow classmate of his at Howard was murdered by the police. He described this killing in detail, and has a heart-breaking visit to his mother, a medical doctor, who had worked her way up from scrubbing white people’s floors in Louisiana. His eulogy for Jones is haunting and beautiful. Accountability? There never is any. “And no one would be brought to account for this destruction, because my death would not be the fault of any human but the fault of some unfortunate but immutable fact of ‘race,’ imposed upon an innocent country by the inscrutable judgment of invisible gods. The earthquake cannot be subpoenaed. They typhoon will not bend under indictment. They sent the killer of Prince Jones back to his work, because he was not a killer at all. He was a force on nature, the helpless agent of our world’s physical laws.” Scathing, as good as Baldwin ever wrote.Coates seminal work is an update on the much “progress” that has NOT been made. Normally I would give it my special rating for an exceptional work, 6-stars. However, I did have some problems with it. He goes to France, his first trip abroad, and is enthralled… I’ve been there… figuring the 6eme arrondissement is the “center of the universe.” However, he never mentions an essential word for understanding France, “les banlieues,” literally, the suburbs, with such a different connotation than in America. A fellow reviewer has mentioned that he has become more critical after his first visit. And then I would also be critical of his use of the term “Dreamer,” of which there are many, for sure, but are not a monolithic block that seems to mean “non-black.” And he never develops the implications of the fact that the cop who killed Prince Jones was black also. Like “les banlieues,” “Tom,” of an avuncular nature, does not appear in his work either. Still, overall, a very important work, for America today, and for those still singing those “old union hymns.” 5-stars.

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  18. Amazon Customer

    Must read!

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  19. Intense24

    As described

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  20. Shannon

    I feel lucky to get to read this intimate message from a father to his son. It’s so important and Coates’ way with words is magical.

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  21. MArlon Murphy

    Great read. Coates delves into the world of a Black youth’s moments of self-identity and transition within a ever changing environment very well. His reflections on Howard University are inspiring laced with vivid imagery. This book is a must read!!!

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  22. Rikie

    My daughter loves reading this book

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  23. Amazon Customer

    Every white person needs to read this – if you want a view inside what it’s like growing up black in America, this is the most personal, intimate, loving, gentle and honest expression of that perspective. Ta-Nehisi Coates puts into words emotions and perspective that I never could have known were there without him telling me. Also, I’m white, so I am unfamiliar with this path: he has given me a real lesson. Read the book three times, and read Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time in between the first and second – getting a good schooling on a world I have never had to live in, and but which is inhabited by half of the United States.

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  24. igabriella1

    So touching. It was hard to read at times because it made me so emotional, but that’s the beauty of this book.

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  25. Ellie Mallet

    I loved this book!

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  26. Lee Anna Mitchell

    Amazing book; everyone should read this!!

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  27. Mass Communication

    good book

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  28. Libby Marsh

    Eye opening to a world I can never live but this allows me to feel and understand what goes on daily.

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  29. Sarah Jacobs

    This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

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  30. M. Vincent

    Item as described in the right time frame. Thank you!

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  31. Mary R Erwin

    Wow-if you read this and don’t come away from it with a new perspective on race in America today, I have no words. Read it again. And again…

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  32. RG

    If you read this and don’t come away with a greater understanding of the African American experience … and of how the plunder of the labor and bodies of people of color was central in this country’s history … then the problem is with you, not this book.

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  33. Lucy M Frick

    this book is beautifully written. I need to read it a second time to take it all in!

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  34. Valbowski4186

    This book. This book made me so necessarily uncomfortable. As Toni Morrison put it, it should be “required reading.” Poetic, searing, and brutally honest, but also accessible. It was a relatively quick read. An intense read, but a quick read.

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  35. Bonnie

    Great

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  36. Tiffany Roberts

    Excellent! Excellent!! Everyone should read this book… we have so much to learn culturally about this topic. Page after page I’m continuously blown away by Coates.If everyone read this book we’d be in a much better place and could gain a much better perspective how to bring about change in the US.

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  37. Janice R. Clark

    This book was one of the most powerful that I have ever read. It really helps me understand what blacks endure in this country. The prose is excellent. I read the book in one day with only a couple of stops for food and bathroom breaks.

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  38. Luke Bowden

    Good thought provoking book! Deeply Insightful! Heartfelt!

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  39. Dajah

    Good book

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  40. Kat !

    Got the book In good time and loved every word

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  41. Amazon Customer

    I love this book …. such a great author.

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  42. Jenna U

    An easy classic that Coates just nails.

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  43. c s co

    This Is A Great Book. Coates Is One Of The Leading Contemporary Authors Imo. I’m Really Happy With This Purchase, Couldn’t Put It Down.

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  44. Heather Doss

    One of the best books I have read in a long time. As an African American I live for books like this. Ta-Nehisi presents his own view of the world through his eyes for his son. Touching story, at times it hurt to read the things he has gone through, but it still presents hope for the future of our country.

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  45. April Stein

    Powerfully written as a letter to the author’s 15 year old son about the danger every black person in America faces on a daily basis.

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  46. Allan Menagh

    Coates’ writing let me be inside his thoughts and feelings, his immense research and reflection. More than anything, I felt honored to read it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I so glad I read it and so glad he wrote it. Thanks.

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  47. Thomas

    Great description of the experiences of a particular young black man in America. Alters the current strereotypical narrative of young black males. Humanizing. Deeply gratifying. A must read.

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  48. Cynthia Riojas

    super thin book! didn’t even know what i had ordered till i opened it haha

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  49. Deborah Gaffaney

    Finally received this. Can’t wait to read….thanks Wordly.

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  50. Lorraine

    Indeed this book took you on a journey through black America through the eyes of a black male that endured the many injustices that black men in particular have to endure in America. The book raised many emotions within you while at the same time educating you about the struggle, which started over 400 years ago. What is also awesome about this author is the fact that he introduces you to other books regarding the struggle e.g “Destruction of Black Civilization: Great issues of a race from 4500 B.C to 2000 A.D..” Brilliant author that kept you engaged throughout the book.

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  51. ATekura

    At last, real black men are standing up and speaking assertively, thruthfully, and rightfully to themselves and to power!!!

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  52. yolanda jonesyolanda jones

    I enjoyed this book. It was intense as well as intriguing because it was portraying to me a man who was giving his son old fashion guidance and shedding some life on an old problem for some.

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  53. Lauren

    Amazing novel! Coates has an ability to communicate his personal experiences that reflect and compliment Black history. His literary voice is of the likes of Maya Angelou and James Baldwin.

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  54. lkchary

    All white people should read this book. No matter how “woke” we think we are, there is no way we can ever experience life in the same way a black person does, nor can we ever fully grasp the fear black parents have each time they send a black son out into the street in today’s world. The way Coates talks about how the black body, the actual physical body of black people, is seen and treated, and has historically been seen and treated since the invention of race as a method of dividing black and white humans and justifying what white people have done to black people is what makes writing books worthwhile and reading them so important. The prose is sharp and clear. This book is a letter to Coates’ son, and should make us all wish we could communicate the reality of the lives we are born into as cogently and compassionately as this book does.

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  55. marman

    An incredible book written in a powerful voice. It shook me to my core. It made me realize in how much ignorance, denial and perversion we all live, especially non-BIPOC. This book should be a mandatory reading in high school. Forget about the “classics”. Open your eyes “white” America and start to see the wrongs which started few hundreds years back and continue to today.

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  56. Ann

    This should be required reading for white people who do not know what it means to BE white rather than black in America.

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  57. Amazon Customer

    Beautifully written. I agree with Toni Morrison, this is a must read!!! Reading it with my grandson; this becomes part of his library.

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  58. JThompson

    This was a gift for a white man who asked me to recommend a book about black life. Having read it a few years ago I thought this was a jump right on in – since you want to know, kinda thing. Let’s just say the discussions were poignant. In the end, “I had no idea.” was all he could say.

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  59. carolina sanchez

    Such a great book. An eye opener! Most people should read this book just as a way to bring more humanity to all our lives.

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  60. Lindelwa Farisani

    Highly recommend that everyone read this book. Coates’ letter to his son puts the black struggle in the most succinct of ways I have ever seen. He doesn’t try to be philosophical, to analyze too much or to be “creative” – he tells a story, a story in a letter form to his son that puts it all together perfectly.

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  61. Melvin Randolph

    Every father and son should read this book.

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  62. Harlem Thanos

    A easy read well written letter flows like a fun essay for all ages to understand the importance of life and how it relates to the mix reality of living in American. Bravi

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  63. MasterPlan

    Bought this as a gift and they loved it so much I bought the author’s other book as well.

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  64. Lenson L. Bellamy III

    Great read! Better than I expected.

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  65. MzLizW

    It’s a must read for all.

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  66. Dorothy Sherman

    Present insight on the fear author experienced in raising a child in the US. Book was used as a text for a college course I am taking.

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  67. Alicia Cervesa

    Everyone in the USA should read this book. It is not just a letter between father and son,it is a learning essay for everyone!

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  68. Laura Dwight

    Perfect copy. Love it. Thanks.

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  69. Johnny IV

    BEST book in years – nonfiction at it’s best, gripping couldn’t put it down!!

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  70. Kayla

    Good book. Read it. Feel it.

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  71. Nurse marty

    Great book for teachers to read to understand kids

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  72. norma davenport

    Every American should read this book in order to understand that it is ok, and perhaps even essential, to support the “Black lives Matters” movement and also support our dedicated police forces. Each of these groups have one thing in common . . . They just want to come home each night to their families alive and well. Author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has written a love letter to his son to help him navigate a troubled and divisive world in difficult times.

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  73. Synergy

    Mr. Coates’ unique perspective as an enlightened and socially aware black father living in a culture of systemic racism comes alive in his ‘letter’ to his son, a ‘letter’ every black son and daughter should read.

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  74. James Ransom

    Bought for grandson.

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  75. Cathleen A.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates has written an extremely informative,educational, thoughtful and thought provoking book. A must read for insight into racism and what it really means to inhabit a black body in America. Should be required reading for everyone that isn’t a person of color.

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  76. Berkeley

    Written from the heart – the talk black parents must have with their black sons.

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  77. Ny Nite

    Beautiful, meaningful, powerful, and necessary book. A must have in any collection.

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  78. anothercol

    A brilliant, necessary book.You’ll feel the injustice and understand the anger through Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful and eloquent bwriting.

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  79. CBG

    Beautifully written, and emotionally gripping. Coates’ letter to his son explains his experience as an African American male. I read this book in one day, could not put it down.

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  80. Roger B

    This is a powerfully written expose of the psychology of a black person in the U.S., but it has given expression to feelings of all of us whose ancestors were wrenched from Africa, and forced to work for free in the fields of the owners for the plantations, any where in the world. It is beautifully written, tender and insightful.This is required reading for all black people everywhere in the diaspora.

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  81. Henry J. Noble

    I bought copies for friends and family. Everybody should read this andexperience what a Black father must convey to his son in this sickand racist society

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  82. Joshua Lee Eudy

    This might be the best thing I’ve ever read. I find it impossible to describe. It’s beautifully, poetically written. It’s raw and personal and wonderful and heartbreaking and enraging.

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  83. Amazon Customer

    I bought it for my boyfriend and he loves it! He literally brings it everywhere he goes. <3

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  84. adrian olmstead

    This book is worth everyone’s time. His words are at once both soulful and searing. I wanted my perspective to be influenced, and I wanted more of an education on the subject of what it is like to be African-American in today’s America. What did it feel like to grow up and experience life from a this perspective? This book gave me so much more, it takes you deep. Because Coates is writing this to his son, there is a truth and tenderness to the tone that will pull you so far in, you are there with him, right behind his eyes. Beautiful, eloquent, heart-breaking.

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  85. alexandra pak

    Great book! Had to purchase for college and it was very interesting in the perspective of Coates and how the society had treated him because he was African American.

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  86. Ren

    An enlightening read. Such a touching story of what it is to be a black man in America. Highly recommended

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  87. Cristy

    I loved this book. Eloquent, beautiful, haunting and also very wise about the violence done to the black body. As a white person, I received so much insight and learned so much. This touched my heart and my soul.

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  88. s. quilley powers

    this is a magnificent book. a must-read for white people. it’s is not the same to grow up black. READ THIS BOOK everyone. Ta-Nehisi has a way with words in addition to his message that is so caring: the book is a letter to his son.

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  89. Meg Tuite

    This book should be a part of the curriculum in every high school/college. Coates writes a beautiful, heartbreaking and redemptive personal narrative of what his experience of being a black man in America has been for him in a letter to his son and the history of their family and the hell they went through. From Howard University to the Civil War, Chicago to Paris: and he lists many writers he read at Howard University that made me aware of how few of them I knew. I will change that!”The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy. It is hard to face this. But all our phrasing–race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy–serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body.”READ THIS!!

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  90. Fatoumata

    Great book

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