If you think I’m going to provide an in-depth review of that which just won the National Book Award, you’re wrong. This book doesn’t need me, a white girl who doesn’t read the news every day, to chime in. This book does, however, need everyone to read it. So, this post is for the couple of people who may come across my blog without knowing who the Award winners are; had a friend of mine not handed me a copy of the book, I’m embarrassed to say I wouldn’t have known about it. (See: aforementioned poor news-reading habits.)
Between the World and Me is directly intended for Coates’ son, to paint him a very clear, detailed, unabridged picture of the world he’ll inherit as an adult. Perhaps it’s also intended for other young black males. It’s definitely not aimed at me, nor does it aim to sugar-coat, pad or soften anything in today’s world for anyone. It’s eloquent and honest and I’m thankful that it exists.
I’m thankful for the discomfort, shame and hopelessness I felt while reading it, because there are things described in the book that I’m sure I do without intending to. Even the most forward-thinking person in the world is still racist, by virtue of living in modern society, which evolved from however society operated in the past. I’m thankful for my consciousness being deepened and my behavior being scrutinized. I’m thankful that Coates’ call to arms, for lack of a better term, is being heard by so many people.
So, read, dammit. It’s one of the most important pieces of writing ever penned.