Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The first time I read Between the World and Me was my senior year of high school in my Black Studies class. My teacher wanted us to read it because the author is from Baltimore, and so are we, and it connected to our lesson of how blackness is exhibited in art. I didn’t really want to read it at first but I’m so glad I did. The book was a letter from Coates to his young son telling him how to navigate America as a black man. He told his stories about growing up in Baltimore and noticed how easily lives were taken, and wanted to stress to his son that he must protect his own at all costs. Something that really stood out to me were his descriptions of his college. He went to Howard University and described it as his “Mecca”. Reading his experiences at an HBCU and how much he loved it made me want to go to one too. Sadly, my HBCU experience wasn’t as great as I would have liked but I’m still very grateful for it. I saw a lot of myself in Coates’ words and it was very empowering to see a man from Baltimore who had experienced many of the things I had to go on and be a famous author. Although I don’t know Coates personally, it means a lot to a black girl from Baltimore to read his story.

Leave a comment