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The point of this language of "intention" and "personal responsibility" is broad exoneration. Mistakes were made. Bodies were broken. People were enslaved. We meant well. We tried our best. "Good intention" is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.
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And I saw that what divided me from the world was not anything intrinsic to us but the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named us matters more than anything we could ever actually do.
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White America is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining). But however it appears, the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white, and without it, "white people" would cease to exist for want of reasons.
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Between the World and Me Hardcover – July 14, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 18,302 ratings

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From the Publisher

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THE WATER DANCER WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE THE BEAUTIFU STRUGGLE (Adapted for Young Adults)
A boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom A vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment; this collection includes the landmark essay “The Case for Reparations.” An exceptional father-son story from the about the reality that tests us, the myths that sustain us, and the love that saves us Adapted from the adult memoir, this father-son story explores how boys become men, and quite specifically, how Ta-Nehisi Coates became Ta-Nehisi Coates

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of July 2015: Readers of his work in The Atlantic and elsewhere know Ta-Nehisi Coates for his thoughtful and influential writing on race in America. Written as a series of letters to his teenaged son, his new memoir, Between the World and Me, walks us through the course of his life, from the tough neighborhoods of Baltimore in his youth, to Howard University—which Coates dubs “The Mecca” for its revelatory community of black students and teachers—to the broader Meccas of New York and Paris. Coates describes his observations and the evolution of his thinking on race, from Malcolm X to his conclusion that race itself is a fabrication, elemental to the concept of American (white) exceptionalism. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, and South Carolina are not bumps on the road of progress and harmony, but the results of a systemized, ubiquitous threat to “black bodies” in the form of slavery, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Coates is direct and, as usual, uncommonly insightful and original. There are no wasted words. This is a powerful and exceptional book.--Jon Foro

From School Library Journal

In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society. In this short memoir, the Atlantic writer explains that the tragic examples of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and those killed in South Carolina are the results of a systematically constructed and maintained assault to black people—a structure that includes slavery, mass incarceration, and police brutality as part of its foundation. From his passionate and deliberate breakdown of the concept of race itself to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, Coates powerfully sums up the terrible history of the subjugation of black people in the United States. A timely work, this title will resonate with all teens—those who have experienced racism as well as those who have followed the recent news coverage on violence against people of color. Pair with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely's All American Boys (S. & S., 2015) for a lively discussion on racism in America. VERDICT This stunning, National Book Award-winning memoir should be required reading for high school students and adults alike.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ One World; 1st edition (July 14, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0812993543
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0812993547
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1090L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.13 x 0.77 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 18,302 ratings

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me, a finalist for the National Book Award. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow, Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son.

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