Lit Pick of the Week: “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Radar is committed to all forms of art and entertainment and as such, will pick one book as a reading recommendation every week. This week, Radar’s “Lit” pick is “Between The World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Courtesy of Spiegel & Grau
Courtesy of Spiegel & Grau

Considering the imminent presidential  inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday, I felt that this peculiar historical event—read: Tragedy—requires a level of clarity and intelligence. This brought me to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book-length letter to his son entitled, “Between the World and Me” (2015). An audacious essay by one of America’s preeminent writers, this book is a biting, engaging and heartbreaking exploration of blackness and race relations in modern America.

Coates’ letter, penned after the tragic murders of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray, deftly explores the reality of being a black male and living in a black body. He states, “the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body,” a theme which reverberates throughout the entire book. For those struggling to cope with the upcoming reality of a Trump administration, and who may look for refuge in this book, be forewarned: You will find none. Coates offers no remedy for the racism he sees; his vision is as bleak as it is poetic. He refuses to offer any uplifting “moral” or “message.” What he offers, however, is a sanctuary for what’s ahead—the truth.

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