Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Between the World and Me: Reflections

[Between the World and Me]

We've now all read Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me. What's one idea that you found most memorable, challenging, or surprising concerning the book? Why or how so? 

26 comments:

Jamal Sims said...

The way he vividly makes his story come to life through a few sentences in a paragraph is, in my opinion, unprecedented. One idea from this book that was memorable was his belief that black people weren't originally meant to be a part of the "American Dream" and it shows considering the lack of support black people have in the community and overall, in the United States.When Coates talks about the streets and the school system being one of the same beast. It exposes yet another fault in the american education system.

John Kriha said...

What I Find unique about this book is the idea that it is all a message to his son. The important takeaway from this book is that life is hard, but growing up as an African American male, you will face challenges that most people won't be able to understand. I believe Coates touches on recent events as examples of how these challenges still persist today. I do not believe Coates is hopeful for change to come, but rather he wants us, as well as his son, to face the reality and learn how to become stronger because of it.

Roland Wooters said...

The most memorable thing I can take from this book is seeing the journey of a black man. Coates is one a the founding new black men of America - a black man that embraces diversity. He is living proof that black people can be progressive, face adversity, and be successful. Being a black man, it is truly refreshing reading literature about another black man who is living proof of this concept.

Rodrick Robins said...

One thing I found most memorable was the idea of preservation of the physical body, and how much I subconsciously think about that concept almost every day. Especially when I'm DWB (driving while black). Whenever I leave my apartment, I always have to make sure my poise is perfect, lest I lose my life by a cop, who may be having a bad, strange, or over all frightening day. I generally fit the description.

Jessie Carter said...

The ending of the book most definitely the part that impacted my thoughts the most. The page when Coates talks about awakening the Dreamers. His statements about Dreamers convincing themselves that they are white being part of a problem in society made so much sense because it makes me realize that my energy spent trying to awaken dreamers should be spent in other places. Dreamers don't want to be awake, they have to wake themselves up.

John Kriha said...

The thing I find most unique about this book is that it is all a message to his son. The message Coates sends is that life is hard, however, growing up as an African American male, you will face challenges in this country that most people will never understand. Instead of living a life in fear of racial injustice, he wants his son to be aware of it, prepare for it and let it make him stronger as a man.

Jonathan Pittman said...

Without a doubt the thing that stood out the most was regardless of how different and diverse black is that we are all still unified to an extent. When Coates talks about his mecca and how many shades of black he could see on the yard it was truly an experience. Just imagining the vastness with in our race is reassuring regardless if we are not all on the same page. We are all that we have and the tailgate party towards the end of the book drives that point home once again.

Joey Norwood said...

The most memorable entity within in the book was the author's descriptive language throughout the entire publication. "Between You and Me" was one of the first books I have read that truly capture the complete essence of a black man living in the United States. His inside accounts and proper use of diction made the book, both relatable and interesting.

Joey N.

Keanu Rodriguez said...

This book contained many memorable and eye opening messages. However the message that I feel stood out to me the most was Ta-Nehisi's explanation to why racism exists in the first place. He says "...the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being 'white'...without it white people would cease to exist." This quote stood out to me the most because after pondering its meaning, I came to the realization that sadly, this is completely true. The creation of racism came to be as a result of the human sins; greed and pride. With greed comes the want for power, which can be attained through the domination of others. To complete this need for power, the beliefs in "white" and "black" people come into fruition. However, in reality, these distinctions are nothing more than the amount of pigment present in the skin.

Xavier Morrison- Wallace said...

Overall I really enjoyed the book, but there isn't a specific thing that stood out to me the most within the contents of the book. However, I do enjoy the idea that this book is written towards his son. The main target audience for this book is not the people reading it, he is passing down lessons he learned from his life down to his son so he won't go through this world blind, which makes this book more powerful and direct. In a way, other people reading this book would need to put themselves in the place of Ta-Nehisi Coates' son reading this in order to get the full force and impact this book can possibly offer.

Wole A said...

One of the things I enjoyed most is how the book was a guide for his son. He showed his son the ups and downs of life but, despite the hardships and racism that you can push through.

Brian Green said...

One memorable thing in the book was the way Coates grew up and how he explained his journey to his son. Coates knew that his life was not the best growing up, but he wanted his son to know what he went through, and how he wanted his son's life to be better than his. No one wants their child to go through the same things they went though, so Coates told his story. This was very important to Coates because he did not have anyone growing up telling him of their story and what to expect or not to do in life. Coates not only impacted his son, but me also. I learned a lot reading this book, and it was very interesting to read.

Joshua Jones said...

It was an interesting and thought provoking read. I enjoyed reading the book even though it had very serious undertones. I found that the overall message to his son was the most unique part of the book. I also enjoyed "The Dream." I never considered the lies and false reality of blacks a dream, before. The lessons that he passed down can be adhered to by all who understand this reality and want to understand a different perspective about the effect of racial and political separations between blacks and whites, predominantly.

Bryce Barker said...

I found his view of the world very eye opening because he showed how people of the same color are all different. Even if we all are the same race we can have different views on things and how we believe the world works. To have different minds in similar bodies is what truly make "Between the World and Me" an astounding book because for everyone of us to read it, we read the same things but had a different view on certain parts of the book.

Barry F. said...

The most memorable thing I can recall after finishing "Between the World and Me" was his passion for black excellence and his love for Howard University (The Mecca). Throughout this book, he is in the process of molding hisself into a great black individual and trying to set a good role model for his son. All the while, he indulges into other peoples lives and speaks to their greatness and potential in depth, including his friend Prince. Towards the beginning of the book, he talked a great deal about how much he loved Howard. From what I got, he made it seem like this was the headquarters for blacks in America coming together for a common goal of success. I highly recommended this book to many people because of its impact on me.

Tre Reid said...

The most memorable part of this book for me is how he stresses that this is a white mans world and black people just live here. Because that's how I think all of the time, but a person has to make this their own world. You can't live by what everyone else does or you end up like everyone else. In order to truly be happy you must live for you.

Jelani Brown said...

Something challenging that I found was how he tied his own stories with his own beliefs. He would believe one thing, but always had a story to back up his beliefs. If I were in his position, I truly would be unable backup every last one of my beliefs. I truly find that interesting in that I should change my own beliefs to truths that I have witnessed with my own eyes before believing in it.

Jelani Brown said...

Something challenging that I found was how he tied his own stories with his own beliefs. He would believe one thing, but always had a story to back up his beliefs. If I were in his position, I truly would be unable backup every last one of my beliefs. I truly find that interesting in that I should change my own beliefs to truths that I have witnessed with my own eyes before believing in it.

Emmanuel Ogunbode said...

The thing that I found the most interesting about this book is how the ideas and concepts are so real and relatable. Issues that Coates describes aren't so far fetched that he is the only black male that has ever gone through them. In fact, a lot of the issues that he describes are things that I have personally gone through in my own life and I know piers of mine have experienced as well. This truly opened my eyes to show me that there are a lot of people going through what might seem like a personal and exclusive battle.

Kaine C. said...

What I find memorable about this book is how this book goes over his life and challenges, all for his son. He's trying to leave a message or teach a lesson to his son. Showing that his life will have up and downs, he just has to push through it and keep going.

Robert F said...

I find it interesting that the story of a black man sounded so similar to many other black men. The fact that we face many of the same racial issues we were challenged with in the past. The fact this his experiences are realistic and not uncommon and there is minimal effort from society to correct this behavior. All of his ideas had reasons behind him; his environment shaped him into the man he is today.

jingolder said...

I found it interesting that the book was written to his son, as if to say that it is imperative information for his son and the rest of his son's generation to understand. I also liked the analogy of "The Dream." I thought that it was a very good representation of the state of mind a lot of Americans still possess and helped break down what African Americans have been up against throughout modern history.

-John H.

Isaiah Blackburn said...

Ta-Nehesi Coates' visit with Dr. Jones at the end of the book stood out to me. The way Dr. Jones was so concerned with keeping her composer after her son died didn't seem normal. It doesn't make sense that we have to be so numb that you can't even mourn over the death of your son.

Jeremiah B. said...

I think the conversation at the end of the book that Coates has with Dr. Jones is one of the most memorable parts of the book. The conversation was about raising a black male in this country and dealing with the problems of America. I felt it was a pretty relevant issue that parents and future parents fear about their sons.

Trion T. said...

The part I found most interesting was when he spoke of the Dreamers. There were so many ominous things said about the dreamers, especially when he said the dreamers would cause harm to the planet. While I believe that everyone should try to be themselves, I didn't believe that so much harm could come from someone trying to be something they are not.

Lawrence Payne said...

One idea I found memorable was how time changes the perception of what we know as truth. Coates constantly spoke of the past and how it directly related to the present in some way. For instance, how america was truly built and became what it is today. Another would be how his perception of what he thought happened on Harvard's campus in relation to what he actually saw. Nothing stands still forever. As time constantly moves forward so does perception.