Between the World and Me. SITN Ta-Nehisi Coates. 01 LIJE. LILL an. SPIEGEL The title of this work is drawn from the poem “Between the World and Me". Between the World and Me Ta Nehisi Coates. 哲甫 刘. Between the World and Me is a work of nonfiction. Some names and identifying details have been. concerns of an African American father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these.
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Editorial Reviews. pawnfacumapbma.gq Review. An site Best Book of July Readers of his work in The Atlantic and elsewhere know Ta-Nehisi Coates for his . Read Between the World and Me PDF - by Ta-Nehisi Coates Spiegel & Grau | Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and. Ta-Nehisi Coates'Between the World and Mewith you. It is a challenging book that explores social justice, inequity, and oppression in American society. Coates' .
Everyone of any import, from Jesus to George Washington, was white. This was why your grandparents banned Tarzan and the Lone Ranger and toys with white faces from the house. Serious history was the West, and the West was white. This was all distilled for me in a quote I once read, from the novelist Saul Bellow. We were black, beyond the visible spectrum, beyond civilization.
Our history was inferior because we were inferior, which is to say our bodies were inferior. And our inferior bodies could not possibly be accorded the same respect as those that built the West. Would it not be better, then, if our bodies were civilized, improved, and put to some legitimate Christian use? And so I came to Howard toting a new and different history, myth really, which inverted all the stories of the people who believed themselves to be white.
I majored in history with all the motives of a man looking to fill a trophy case. They had heroes, so we must have heroes too. But my history professors thought nothing of telling me that my search for myth was doomed, that the stories I wanted to tell myself could not be matched to truths. Indeed, they felt it their duty to disabuse me of my weaponized history. Their method was rough and direct. Did black skin really convey nobility? Victims of a trick.
Would those be the same black kings who birthed all of civilization? Were they then both deposed masters of the galaxy and gullible puppets all at once? You know, black. Did I think this a timeless category stretching into the deep past? Could it be supposed that simply because color was important to me, it had always been so?
This heap of realizations was a weight. I found them physically painful and exhausting. True, I was coming to enjoy the dizziness, the vertigo that must come with any odyssey. But in those early moments, the unceasing contradictions sent me into a gloom. There was nothing holy or particular in my skin; I was black because of history and heritage.
There was no nobility in falling, in being bound, in living oppressed, and there was no inherent meaning in black blood.
And this fear ran so deep that we accepted their standards of civilization and humanity. They made us into a race. We made ourselves into a people. But not all of us. In fact, Bellow was no closer to Tolstoy than I was to Nzinga. And still and all I knew that we were something, that we were a tribe—on one hand, invented, and on the other, no less real. The reality was out there on the Yard, on the first warm day of spring when it seemed that every sector, borough, affiliation, county, and corner of the broad diaspora had sent a delegate to the great world party.
I remember those days like an OutKast song, painted in lust and joy. The black world was expanding before me, and I could see now that that world was more than a photonegative of that of the people who believe they are white. Sometimes this power is direct lynching , and sometimes it is insidious redlining.
There will surely always be people with straight hair and blue eyes, as there have been for all of history. We did not choose our fences. They were imposed on us by Virginia planters obsessed with enslaving as many Americans as possible. Now I saw that we had made something down here, in slavery, in Jim Crow, in ghettoes. At The Mecca I saw how we had taken their one-drop rule and flipped it. Could I ever want to get into the world they made?
I was born among a people, Samori, and in that realization I knew that I was out of something. It was the psychosis of questioning myself, of constantly wondering if I could measure up. But the whole theory was wrong, their whole notion of race was wrong. And apprehending that, I felt my first measure of freedom.
This realization was important but intellectual. It could not save my body. Indeed, it made me understand what the loss of all our black bodies really meant. Always remember that Trayvon Martin was a boy, that Tamir Rice was a particular boy, that Jordan Davis was a boy, like you. When you hear these names think of all the wealth poured into them. Think of the gasoline expended, the treads worn carting him to football games, basketball tournaments, and Little League. Think of the time spent regulating sleepovers.
Think of the surprise birthday parties, the day care, and the reference checks on babysitters. Think of checks written for family photos. Think of soccer balls, science kits, chemistry sets, racetracks, and model trains. Think of all the embraces, all the private jokes, customs, greetings, names, dreams, all the shared knowledge and capacity of a black family injected into that vessel of flesh and bone. And think of how that vessel was taken, shattered on the concrete, and all its holy contents, all that had gone into each of them, was sent flowing back to the earth.
It is terrible to truly see our particular beauty, Samori, because then you see the scope of the loss. But you must push even further. You must see that this loss is mandated by the history of your country, by the Dream of living white.
I was obsessed with the Civil War because six hundred thousand people had died in it. And yet it had been glossed over in my education, and in popular culture, representations of the war and its reasons seemed obscured. And yet I knew that in we were enslaved and in we were not, and what happened to us in those years struck me as having some amount of import.
But whenever I visited any of the battlefields, I felt like I was greeted as if I were a nosy accountant conducting an audit and someone was trying to hide the books. I doubt you remember the man on our tour dressed in the gray wool of the Confederacy, or how every visitor seemed most interested in flanking maneuvers, hardtack, smoothbore rifles, grapeshot, and ironclads, but virtually no one was interested in what all of this engineering, invention, and design had been marshaled to achieve.
You were only 10 years old. But even then I knew that I must trouble you, and this meant taking you into rooms where people would insult your intelligence, where thieves would try to enlist you in your own robbery and disguise their burning and looting as Christian charity. But robbery is what this is, what it always was. The richest men in America lived in the Mississippi River Valley, and they made their riches off our stolen bodies. Our bodies were held in bondage by the early presidents.
Our bodies were traded from the White House by James K.
Our bodies built the Capitol and the National Mall. The first shot of the Civil War was fired in South Carolina, where our bodies constituted the majority of human bodies in the state.
Here is the motive for the great war. But we can do better and find the bandit confessing his crime. This lie of the Civil War is the lie of innocence, is the Dream. Historians conjured the Dream.
Hollywood fortified the Dream. The Dream was gilded by novels and adventure stories. John Carter flees the broken Confederacy for Mars. We are not supposed to ask what, precisely, he was running from. I, like every kid I knew, loved The Dukes of Hazzard. It is not necessary that you believe that the officer who choked Eric Garner set out that day to destroy a body.
See a Problem?
All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.
Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage. Enslavement was not merely the antiseptic borrowing of labor—it is not so easy to get a human being to commit their body against its own elemental interest.
And so enslavement must be casual wrath and random manglings, the gashing of heads and brains blown out over the river as the body seeks to escape. It must be rape so regular as to be industrial. There is no uplifting way to say this. I have no praise anthems, nor old Negro spirituals. The spirit and soul are the body and brain, which are destructible—that is precisely why they are so precious.
And the soul did not escape. The spirit did not steal away on gospel wings. The soul was the body that fed the tobacco, and the spirit was the blood that watered the cotton, and these created the first fruits of the American garden. And the fruits were secured through the bashing of children with stovewood, through hot iron peeling skin away like husk from corn. It had to be blood. It had to be the thrashing of kitchen hands for the crime of churning butter at a leisurely clip.
Letter to My Son
The bodies were pulverized into stock and marked with insurance. And the bodies were an aspiration, lucrative as Indian land, a veranda, a beautiful wife, or a summer home in the mountains. For the men who needed to believe themselves white, the bodies were the key to a social club, and the right to break the bodies was the mark of civilization.
And that right has always given them meaning, has always meant that there was someone down in the valley because a mountain is not a mountain if there is nothing below. The terrible truth is that we cannot will ourselves to an escape on our own. It is true today. There is no them without you, and without the right to break you they must necessarily fall from the mountain, lose their divinity, and tumble out of the Dream.
And then they would have to determine how to build their suburbs on something other than human bones, how to angle their jails toward something other than a human stockyard, how to erect a democracy independent of cannibalism. I would like to tell you that such a day approaches when the people who believe themselves to be white renounce this demon religion and begin to think of themselves as human.
But I can see no real promise of such a day. We are captured, brother, surrounded by the majoritarian bandits of America. And this has happened here, in our only home, and the terrible truth is that we cannot will ourselves to an escape on our own. He died in captivity, but the profits of that struggle and others like it are ours, even when the object of our struggle, as is so often true, escapes our grasp.
I now know that within this edict lay the key to all living. None of us were promised to end the fight on our feet, fists raised to the sky.
Die. Freeze Body. Store. Revive.
Sometimes you just caught a bad one. But whether you fought or ran, you did it together, because that is the part that was in our control.
What we must never do is willingly hand over our own bodies or the bodies of our friends. That was the wisdom: We knew we did not lay down the direction of the street, but despite that, we could—and must—fashion the way of our walk. And that is the deeper meaning of your name—that the struggle, in and of itself, has meaning. Our triumphs can never redeem this. Perhaps our triumphs are not even the point.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me.pdf - BY...
Perhaps struggle is all we have. That wisdom is not unique to our people, but I think it has special meaning to those of us born out of mass rape, whose ancestors were carried off and divided up into policies and stocks. I have raised you to respect every human being as singular, and you must extend that same respect into the past. Slavery is not an indefinable mass of flesh.
It is a particular, specific enslaved woman, whose mind is as active as your own, whose range of feeling is as vast as your own; who prefers the way the light falls in one particular spot in the woods, who enjoys fishing where the water eddies in a nearby stream, who loves her mother in her own complicated way, thinks her sister talks too loud, has a favorite cousin, a favorite season, who excels at dressmaking and knows, inside herself, that she is as intelligent and capable as anyone.
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Between the World and Me
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That summer, he returns along with Kenyatta and Samori. Coates meditates on the many terrible acts that are currently being committed in service of the Dream, including police brutality, mass incarceration, and the use of drone bombs in the Middle East.
One day, Coates goes to visit Dr. Mabel Jones, the mother of Prince Jones, at her home in a gated community outside of Philadelphia. Jones is a reserved, elegant woman, who tells Coates stories of her own life. Born in Louisiana, Dr. Jones became aware of racism early, but nonetheless managed to excel in school, win a scholarship to Louisiana State University, and train as a radiologist.
Although she was the only black radiologist she knew at the time, Dr. Jones refuses to admit that she experienced any particular hardship. Jones describes her son, Prince, as academically gifted and beloved by everyone. Although she wanted him to attend Harvard or another Ivy League school, Prince chose to go to Howard.The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are the product of democratic will.
A Grotesque Romance by H. A bulldozer inside my uterus revved its engine, shifted into high gear, and rammed a baby out into the world less than two hours later. They were Panamanian. A satellite closed the miles between us, but no machinery could close the gap between her world and the world for which I had been summoned to speak. Our bodies were held in bondage by the early presidents.