Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Between the World and Me, Part II (Reflections)

[Between the World and Me]

We've covered Part II (pages 73 - 132) of Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me over the last few weeks. What, in particular, have you fund yourself thinking about the most from the second section? Why or how so? Please provide a page number for reference when necessary.

28 comments:

Roland Wooters said...

What stood out to me the most was , as usual, how Coates describe the situations he encountered. I did not grow up like he did, and I did not have to worry about the things that he did. When he described that no part of his body suffered more than his eyes, growing up, it really struck a nerve in me. He stated, "But oh, my eyes. When I was a boy, no portion of my body suffered more than my eyes" ( pg 116). That is a haunting feeling because I have read all of the tragedies he has experienced, and I know that his comment is essentially valid.

Jelani Brown said...

Ta-Nehisi once spoke of his friend Jelani and how he thought of travelling as a pointless luxury (117). This has stuck in my mind because although it may seem luxurious, I would never call it pointless.Travelling the world, experiencing the vast majority of the unexplored planet that I call earth is something I have always dreamed of. I have been thinking about that quote so much because it was originally ironic that we had the same name, but our ideas of what I would call my dream and what he would call a pointless luxury are so different. It was also interesting to see how other people think when it came to travelling.

jingolder said...

What stood out to me most was when Coates was talking "the Dream," and how destroying black bodies is part of white heritage (begins on pg 102). This was the clearest take that I had ever heard about America's history with race, and unfortunately it made the most sense. He describes how white characters in the media are portrayed as being southern "good ol' boys," while the their entire history in dealing with black individuals says otherwise. All of this happens while some in the media continue to portray black people as ignorant or violent (or both). This is part of "the Dream" that Coates is talking about. It is an illusion of what some in society want to believe about white heritage.

-John H.

Keanu Rodriguez said...

In the book, there are many things that stood out to me, one in particular that I keep coming back to when contemplating the book is on page 102 saying that "destroying black bodies is part of white heritage." I keep coming back to the quote because I feel as though it perfectly sums up the main, bottom line problem in America. That the nation is unfortunately created a history pizza of destroying black bodies and minds. This has gone for far too long and I appreciate my quote because it is, short, sweet, and to the point.

Jeremy Huckleby said...

I have written about pages 119-120 before because of how much it resonates with me. Coates speaks about his trip to France and how his elders say "Make the race proud". This is done in today's culture in the black community, unfortunately making the race proud sometimes is not what should make a under-privileged people proud. You make your race proud by how much money, you have or by being an entertainer or sports star. But, what does not catch people's eyes are those people that work hard to better the community that they live in a better place. I feel that as a people, popular culture has made it that we see success in those things only, and this stifles our ability to allow young people to pursue what they were called to do.

-Jeremy Huckleby

Wole A said...

What stood out to me the most was when Ta-Nehisi spoke about not being raised in fear or in a false memory (111). It feels like alot of times we rather avoid or look away from our past struggles or hurts. Its easier at times to just focus on the good things. When the author spoke of basically facing your past and struggles head on it stood out to me. The only way to overcome a hurdle is to face it head-on.

Brian Green said...

On about page 123-125, Coates is thinking of what he has been through while visiting France. He does not feel right in France because it is very different than his culture. While growing up, fear was common in town, and he did not know how to overcome it. It stuck with him even when he visited another country, and that goes to show that it is hard to overcome or change this notion of fear. Coates lived with fear his entire life, and he really could not enjoy the first couple days of trip due to the notion of fear. This section stuck with me, and I can relate because no matter the situation, certain notions effect how you live the rest of your life.

Joey N. said...

The most compelling entity in this chapter was the author's description of time on page 91. "The robbery of time is not measured in lifespans but in moments". The idea that a moment of time can be given and taken, is idea that is both compelling and slightly frightening. Compelling in the sense that in our best moments for brief moment nothing else seems to matter. Frightening in the sense that time non-refundable, what it's gone it's gone for good.

-Joey N.

Lawrence Payne said...

I can't really visualize what it was like for Coates to grow up the way he did. Most people of his generation don't really like to talk about it. I've asked my family members every now and then what it was like and they either never answered or were to vague for me to gain a basic grasp of what they life was like at my age or older. I think the quote that best fits is, "But oh, my eyes.When I was a boy, no portion of my body suffered more than my eyes." I feel as though the reason we never truly learn about the past and that only vague description or even movies downplay the severity of the situation Coates talks about.

Lawrence Payne said...

I can't really visualize what it was like for Coates to grow up the way he did. Most people of his generation don't really like to talk about it. I've asked my family members every now and then what it was like and they either never answered or were to vague for me to gain a basic grasp of what they life was like at my age or older. I think the quote that best fits is, "But oh, my eyes.When I was a boy, no portion of my body suffered more than my eyes." I feel as though the reason we never truly learn about the past and that only vague description or even movies downplay the severity of the situation Coates talks about.

Xavier Morrison- Wallace said...

I find it interesting that through out PartII, Ta-Nehisi Coates uses words like cosmos and galaxy like on page 115 and 92. He is thinking bigger than the world he lives in. I guess its because there are such important and meaningful events happening on this small rock out of a billion others flying through space. Based on the comment on pg.115, "the fact of being human, the fact of possessing the gift of study, and thus being remarkable among all the matter floating through the cosmos, still awes me." just being human and being considered remarkable out of everything else that happens and flies by in the universe does seem amazing.

Robert F said...

The last assigned reading particularly stood out for me. It showed how even when a man is out of an environment filled with constant danger, he still has that blanket of fear buried deep within. That there will always be that urge to spring into action for defense. Gives a great depiction of how many blacks live their lives after being exposed to that sort of environment.

Kaine C. said...

I usually found myself thinking about his life. How rough his life was, what he had to go through. He goes though more life trials than most people would. It almost seems ad if his life will never leave him peacefully. There is always something new around a corner waiting for him. He has many struggles through life, he overcomes most of them. He is surviving everyday.

Isaiah Blackburn said...

One of the passages that stood out to me was when Ta-Nehisi Coates acknowledged the progress that he saw in his son. Coates praises his son by saying, “But already you have expectations, I see that in you. Survival and safety are not enough. Your hopes-your dreams, if you will-leave me with an array of warring emotions. I am so very proud of you-your openness, your ambition, your aggression, your intelligence.” (130) Coates goes on to talk about providing wisdom to his son to help him realize all that he has been given is a blessing. This stood out to me because I believe that more young black men in my generation are like this with their own dreams, hopes, and ambition.

Joshua Jones said...

The entire novel, so far, has been very dark and scary to me.Though, I enjoy how Coates' life is very hard because it allows me to view the world through different lenses. On pages 99-110, I found myself to really connect because of the talk of modern day issues with the black body and police brutality.

-Joshua J.

Kaine C. said...

What I have been thinking about is how much he has to go through in his life. He goes through some many struggles in daily life that many people don't have to go through. It almost seems like he goes through the worst and still ends out on top. He's a fighter, a survivor and will always be one.

Jamal Sims said...

There are many moments in this book that have stuck out to me; particularly in the second section of the book. Beginning on page 102, Coates elaborates on “the Dream” and how “destroying black bodies is part of white heritage”. That one excerpt was very powerful due to its ugly truth. On television for instance, Coates describes the way white southerners are portrayed on television as good ‘ol southerners when in fact a look back in history would indeed say otherwise.

Jeremiah B. said...

One of the parts I found most interesting about this section was how Coates references disembodiment as a kind of terrorism. (114) I couldn't quite understand the analogy that he was trying to make with it. I did ,however, agree with some of the points he was trying to convey in this section of the book.

Bryce Barker said...

On page 85, Coates talks about the difference of safety for him compared to others. He compares how some people felt safe at school or their jobs, while he found safety in guns and people who had the same views as him. I never realized that before because for me I felt safe in my schools and at home with family and friends. I would feel uncomfortable at some of my friends' houses because they were unfamiliar to me and it felt like anything could happen to me there. It makes sense to read about different sides of safety because sometimes having something to defend you will make you feel more at ease wherever you might be located.

Trion T. said...

I found myself thinking about his life and all the obstacles he had to go through to get to where he is because I wonder if his life is at all a mirror image of one of the routes I could have taken had I stayed in Chicago. Everything that he as gone through has shaped him in one way or the other so it intrigues me thinking that that the way he has been molded by his experiences in childhood, could have been the way I was molded.

Tre Reid said...

There were many things that stood out to me. One in particular that I keep coming back to is on page 102 where it says that "destroying black bodies is part of white heritage." I feel as though this quote perfectly sums up the main point of the book, and also what we see in our country today. The nation was built upon the labor of black people. Destroying there bodies, minds, and spirits. This also is what keeps the black community from progressing.

Jessie Carter said...

The part that stood out to me most was on page 103 when Coates said, "Here is what i would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body--it is heritage." This section of part II is what I thought about the most because not only does he make the statement that I (and any many others) knew to be true for so long; He also gave history and referenced to the fact that black people are always portrayed negatively, whether it be now or in the past. Also is not just about destroying a black person's physical body but is also destroying their mind.

Rodrick Robins said...

"We will always be black, you and I, even if it means different things in different places." (Pg 127). This quite reminded me of a conversation I had with some friends and colleagues a while back, a conversation that I think epitomizes the list of this chapter. The basis of the conversation is this: there is no place in the world for the black men. Not america, not africa, no asia, not Europe, not Australia. We are a species with no home. And it's very sad. We must create a place for ourselves.

Barry F. said...

I love how Coates ended Part II with this powerful rant about full of thought provoking viewpoints on relevant situations including Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin (p 130). This part comes immediately after his time in France, which I also spent time thinking about. I enjoyed hearing about his time in France because it was a new element for him and he needed to take the "blindfold of fear" off and enjoy himself. Coates is a man who has gone though a lot so far from what he has told in the book, but he always makes it out alright, which is why I enjoy reading this.

John Kriha said...

The part that I am thinking about the most is on page 130 where he discusses all the recent events such as Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. The quote that stood out to me was "our current politics tell you that should you fall victim to an assault and lose your body, it somehow must be your fault". That quote is powerful to me because he is basically telling his son even if he does nothing wrong he is still at risk in this world. He then goes to point out he shouldn't live in fear as a result, but rather keep chasing the dream.

Jonathan Pittman said...

Coates talks about the dream and how our society works so they would be the most apparent themes in this section. How the dream isn't for us and how America profits off our backs weather it be king cotton or the prison industrial complex. How it is basically tradition or routine to do so but we will still survive in spite of all this. When Coates goes to France he sees that there is more than just the hood and the that the fear that comes from living in america can subside even if just a little.

Emmanuel Ogunbode said...

The thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that "killing black bodies was a part of white heritage," as described by Coates. The reason that this gets to me so much is because it seems to hold true to this day. Whether this is physical, emotional, or any other way, blacks were being picked off and still are. To me this shows that there has not been as much progress as we tend to make it seem that there was.

Unknown said...

You have said it right dreams are the one that make us live, it is scientific truth that even if you try hard you can never remember how your dream started. This shows that what are dreams all about, and how to take serious about it.