Wow what a powerful read…Between the World and Me written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This is such an important piece of literature because it shines a personal light on the anxious terror that a parent feels when they must send their children out into a world that commonly and falsely labels them. This book is a letter from a father to his young son. In the letter he explains that despite his adoring sentiment for his son, the world will not receive him with such loving arms. He lays out how unfair odds will impede his development and the concerns he carries for what this means for his son’s future. On top of all the normal hard lessons every child must learn he will need to be made aware of what he was born into without any fault of his own; born into a nation with a long, ugly and unrelenting history of racism. He discusses his own struggles growing up and like all parents his wish that his child could have better. It’s about a father’s hope that his son will overcome not just the typical obstacles in life but the biased obstacles that he will undoubtedly be faced with.
We’ve come some of the way with removing legal discrimination from our laws but we still have a long way to go if things are supposed to be equal, and I do believe they are supposed to be equal. Don’t you? Racial discrimination is in the DNA of American and so the death of legal discrimination made way for the sudden onset of veiled racism. Anyone who thinks racism is over or not as bad as it used to be in America is enabling. Whether consciously, those that would prefer to continue to keep minorities at a disadvantage for their own iniquitous benefit, or subconsciously, those that block the truth to avoid accepting that society has not changed in the way they like to imagine or portray it has. That would mean that this country is still pillaging, still enslaving, still abusing, only the rules have changed. Instead of the overt examples of racism in our past, it now lurks and hides and when it strikes its devastating. It makes me sad to wonder can we ever really be rid of discrimination and stereotypes against people of color. A shattering kind of sad because I think I know the answer to that, but I don’t want to say it out loud.
I do know that books like this make it impossible for racism to hide. This is a must read for all Americans because it’s our world that is creating circumstances like this, where racism still renders fear and depression for us and the generations to come. Reading about people’s stories gives us access to understanding. There is a special power in listening because it allows us to be the change, first in our own hearts, and second in the lives of the people we touch every day. We have got to come to terms with our nation’s unrelenting struggle with discrimination and the causes for it. We have got to undo and pay back and rectify and understand in order to heal, because continuing to avoid, distract and enable to keep from admitting the ugly truth will keep us locked in this labyrinth for eternity.
Signing Out With Love,