Listen. My desire while reading this book was simply to hear things from someone living a different life than I am living. A different life than I will ever be able to live. To learn from another without getting defensive or trying to make connections. We all have overcome adversity, but trying to connect our experiences to those of black individuals trying to talk about race is devaluing their story. It’s not allowing the conversation to happen that so badly needs to take place in order for healing to take place.
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s letter to his 15 year old son. He touches on every aspect of life as he teaches his son to value his body, fight for his body.
What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and that you must find some way to live within the all of it.
Some parts were extremely hard to take in. Discussions about school were particularly difficult. As a teacher, it was hard to not react. It was also hard not to be able to ask questions. I want to do the right thing for all children and I almost wished I could have the author next to me to privately ask genuine questions without feeling judged or labeled for asking.
This book is really well written and helped me take a few steps towards understanding. Next up on my reading list:
This book did not fulfill anything from my 2016 Reading Challenge, but it was worth every word!