Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Between the World and Me, Part I: (3 – 20)

[Between the World and Me]

In the first section of Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates begins sketching out his views on the state of things in America to his 15-year-old son. He notes, among many other notable points, that "race is the child of racism, not the father" and begins explaining how (7).

Based on what you've read so far (between pages 5 - 20), what particularly caught your attention and why? Please provide a page number.

15 comments:

Joshua Jones said...

I enjoyed reading from the end of page 10 to 11 because it reminded me of Toni Morrison's novels Sula and The Bluest Eye. Ta-Nehesi speaks about the idea of the "Dream" being one in which a person is optimally suited to live in white America. The author labels the differences between what the Dream is like and how black reality is, " The Dream smells like peppermint but tastes like strawberry shortcake" (11).
It's very interesting to me. It was sad to read about how the author felt sad for those who didn't understand that life could not be perfect for them. It was terribly inevitable. This is the same idea that Morrison shows in both of her novels.

Jelani Brown said...

Something that particularly caught my attention was a jab at the law enforcement in america. It was rather interesting to me because I could relate in a sense. "The law did not protect us. And now, in your time, the law has become an excuse for stopping and frisking you..." (17). I could compare so easily because I have been stopped for various ridiculous reasons in high school whether I was walking to school early in the morning, or late at night when I was returning from extracurricular activities. I just immediately remembered many times I was unjustly stopped and "checked up on" when these sentences were analyzed after reading them.

-Jelani Brown

Tre Reid said...

Pages 8 and 9 definitely stood out to me the most in this chapter. When Ta-Nehisi talks about some of the things that "new people" did to the Native Americans when they took over America I could relate to everything he was saying because I share the same belief as him. He states that America "was not achieved through wine tastings and ice cream socials..."(8). But instead built on the destruction and ravaging of a people's home, families, and lifestyle.
He also talks about how police officers target blacks in America and violate and or kill them. These acts, however, are justified. They are looked over by those not of the black community. "All of this is common to black people. And all of this is old for black people"(9). That is a very sad, yet very true statement that I believe runs through every black American's mind.

-Robert Reid

jingolder said...

I really enjoyed reading last paragraph on page 8 leading into page 9. I cannot say that I agree with everything that Coates says in this paragraph, which basically is that most Americans (predominantly white Americans) choose "to look away, to enjoy the fruits of our history and to ignore the great evil done in all of our names." Coates follows that by saying to his son, "But you and I have never truly had that luxury. I think you know." This struck me as very powerful because it shows the frustration of a person who has seen injustice not only in his life, but throughout the history of a country that everyone around him praises. Even though I am torn in agreement with Coates, I was able to fully relate to his sentiment of feeling like he is the only one who truly sees the corrupt foundation in a system, and feels obligated to share the knowledge with his son. Perhaps his son is the only one who will grow to understand.

-John H.

Barry F. said...















































































The first set of pages I read was very powerful and I had no idea that the book would get so deep and insightful in the first few pages. What really caught my eye was on page 10 when Coates said, "It does not matter if the destruction is the result of unfortunate overreaction. It does not matter if it originates in a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction springs from a foolish policy". These sentences are saying that as African-American's, the police have no responsibility for the irrational actions that they may commit against us.
Another thing that caught my eye was when Coates was taking about the times when he was younger and described his surroundings so vividly. Talking about the problems of his neighborhood, Coates says, "To be black in the Baltimore of my youth was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all the guns, fists, knives, crack, rape, and disease". This is saying that there were was a lot of negativity and it was hard to succeed with all of these things around you.














Xavier Morrison- Wallace said...

Page 19 caught my eye because thinking of a situation where you suddenly have a gun pulled on you, you have to realize that the moment you step out there door anything can happen without warning even if it is life threatening. Even if people have thought of this or not, it can be a scary realization. Now the media is reporting all these police shootings and murders and sometimes you worry if its going to be someone you know or worse if it happens to be a loved one or a friend.

Keanu Rodriguez said...

The part in the book that stood out to me the most is on page 7. "Americans believe in the reality of 'race' as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world." I completely agree with this quote in the since that people now believe that race is a natural partition that separates us as humans. In reality, race, is far from natural. Race is as man-made as the weapons used by police to immorally harm minorities on a daily basis. I feel as though skin color should be seen by all people to be as irrelevant to a person as hair color or eye color. It is simply a characteristic given to us as a result of genetics, and should not dictate how a person is assumed to be.

Bryce Barker said...

In the beginning of the chapter Coates says, "Specifically, the host wished to know why I felt that white America's progress, or rather the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white, was built on looting and violence." This struck me as interesting because the question focused on one race. To narrow that question to one race gives only a view on one part of a culture. The question should have been focused on all races to understand why America has become what it is, and then we can truly understand how we have reached the point we are at now.

Jonathan Pittman said...

So far this book has really been enjoyable because I can relate to most things that the author talks about. Aside from his diction the part where he had consulted his son (pg. 11) really stuck out to me. He didn't sugarcoat his words which is something that we couldn't afford. During the Trayon Martin case my mother had similar conversations around this and she never told me it would be alright. The Trayvon Martin case became a major turning point in the fight against racism as it gave way to Black lives Matter campaign.

John Kriha said...

So far I find this book to be very insightful. The author does an exceptional job of exposing the ongoing injustice of racism. One thing that stood out to me was the quote "..I didn't hug you, and I didn't comfort you because I thought it would be wrong to comfort you" (pg.11). The author does a great job of capturing the realness. The idea of a father letting his son feel the pain to prepare him for what he will experience in the real word when he becomes a man left a lasting impression.

De'Abrion Joyner said...

I'm a little bit late on this but after reading these first few pages I can't put the book down. On (pg. 6) the author talks about how the problem isn't the betrayal of "government of the people" but by the means in which "the people" got their names. That stuck out to me because arguments are all about the definition of what your arguing. If only white Americans were part of "the people" then Abraham Lincoln's words and the actions of white Americans will never fully be wrong to people who have come from racism. Another thing the author talks about on (pg. 14), is the fear he said he didn't recognize as a kid around him but as he grew up saw it for what it was. People buy extravagant things, make social statements in fashion and even act out violently, out of fear, is what he was saying and I agree with that. We've seen it first hand with the controversies that are crowding our country now. The author does a great job of evoking emotions and making the reader think about what's really going on in the world we live in.

Jessie Carter said...

On page 7, the author said "Americans believe in the reality of "race" as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism--the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce, and destroy them-- inevitably follows from this inalterable condition." This stood out to me because his definition of racism seems so accurate and at the same time he shows the absurdity of the idea by pointing out that we are born a certain "race" and we can do nothing about it.

Khalil Earl said...

I feel that the part of this reading that drew the most of my attention was the references of police brutality against those who were of African American descent.(pg.9) Many of the victims described were either murdered or brutally beaten for reasons that can very well be described as inhumane.

Lawrence Payne said...

The beginning page made the book seem like it was going to be boring. As I got further and further, I found myself liking the book more and more. He touches on things that people either ignore or dismiss because it doesn't directly affect them. For instance, "... being white, was not achieved through wine tastings and ice socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land;." From there Coates goes into a little more detail of what happened. This further proves that you should judge by depth and not by sight.

Lawrence Payne said...

The beginning page made the book seem like it was going to be boring. As I got further and further, I found myself liking the book more and more. He touches on things that people either ignore or dismiss because it doesn't directly affect them. For instance, "... being white, was not achieved through wine tastings and ice socials, but rather through the pillaging of life, liberty, labor, and land;." From there Coates goes into a little more detail of what happened. This further proves that you should judge by depth and not by sight.