Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates at Laura’s September 2018

Delicious Soul Food Menu: Laura will send recipes to be added to this post

Laura’s background and timeline slides will be added to this post eventually

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me Summary
This is a Summary of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Between The World And Me Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men-bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son-and readers-the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
The Meeting!!

As background for the book Laura gave us a well researched history of slavery, the progression of the cotton industry and the economy of the Confederate States which was built on the backs of slave workers and the political, social and economic powers that battled over the abolishment of the “slave trade” in the US. The time line Laura put together of the sequence American legislation and consequential action and inaction resulting from such legislation that was an eye opening look into all of the contradictions and inconsistencies caused by political and economical expediency which steamrollered over human rights and perpetuated the cruel, dehumanizing abuse and segregation of a race of people.

Laura, thank you! You have opened my eyes to another level of context and perspective for not just US history and the subjugation of one race of people but to further realization of the depths of power struggles and systemic abuse of groups of people based on race, religion, nationality and poverty perpetuated by the political maneuvering for economic wealth and domination ubiquitous around the world today.

Notes of appreciation!:

Karen: Thanks for taking the time to research the history of black enslavement in America.  Your work deserves a careful review when the slides are posted on the blog.  And thanks for your American soul food inspired meal.  Comfort food at its best!

The World Between You and Me is one of the most profoundly sad books I have ever read.  These days, watching the TV news, and reading the daily papers leaves me exhausted.  It is hard work to maintain living in our bubbles and pretend that all is fine, isn’t it?

Jill: Your words said it all Karen.
I was quite overwhelmed with the sadness of the author’s words to his son, and how they managed to ‘survive’ in their world.
Laura, I learned so much from your research, it really opened my eyes, and gave me a totally different perspective and realization as to how the black slaves were treated.
 What a dreadful existence they had to suffer at the hands of the white people.
Please post the recipes for everything, I especially enjoyed the beans and collard dishes.

Bev: A legacy that does not go away. These days are bleak and it seems so difficult to be progressive and move forward to a better world. We need authors like our last to remind of us of the past but show us what a better future could look like.

Great read and great great power point. Fabulous food that warmed our souls.
(Jeanne’s book choice Education is a book about resilience. We are resilient and can with perseverance make a difference. Don’t give in to the dark side.

My November book, Do Not Say We Have Nothing , takes us into China in a time of great upheaval. It is not an easy read but I think the resilience and determination of the people who populate this book may offer us some lessons for today.)


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