Between the World and Me is framed as a letter from Coates to his son. The letter provides a unique, raw view into the experience and worldview of Coates and lessons and feelings he wants to convey to his maturing son.
Coates focuses more closely on the attack on Black bodies by “Dreamers” (white people) and is especially troubled by the killing of his college friend Prince Jones as well as the countless other examples of police brutality sense. While these are definitely hard subjects to talk about, Coates does a great job of providing an almost completely clear view directly into his thoughts and experience.
On top of the harder subjects Coates addresses in the book, I enjoyed his reflection on all the different things he learned and the many different types of Black people he met at Howard University, which he refers to as “The Mecca.” Along with Howard, Coates has also been greatly impacted by his upbringing in Baltimore, his living in New York, and even his trip to Paris.
Because this book is one long letter and stream of consciousness, it can be a little hard to follow with Coates thoughts jumping from subject to subject quite frequently. However, looking back on the book/letter as a whole, there is certainly a lot that I gained from reading his unique experiences that are also shared by so many other people like him or at least share his skin color.
Even though I didn’t find the book as easy to follow and understand as others that I have been reading lately, I think that makes it special and really reveals the realness of a totally different person’s perspective and highlights how much there is to gain by continuing to seek out other people’s completely different views and experiences.