Son, last Sunday the host of a popular news show asked me what it meant to lose my body.
Required reading, indeed.
Coates gives the reader a view of his world, one he shares with a lot of black Americans. It’s a letter to his son, it’s a reality check for everyone outside this world.
A world in which your body isn’t your own. In which there is no safety from society, authority, their own surroundings. In which police violence isn’t just two years old and a news item, but a reality you grow up in.
It’s plenty of ugly truths, but Coates’ love for his son, his family and his people (the people the rest of society only wants to use, not accept) prevents this letter turning into a wall of tears.
We have to know this angle, because ignorance supports a status quo that doesn’t include every human being.
Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau 2015