Dr. Michael McClure
September 28, 2018
Between the World and Me
In section one Coates begins by talking about being interviewed by a white host on a television show. The host acts Coates about his body. He talks about people who believe themselves white and how they were once considered to be something else like, Jewish, Catholic, or Irish, but not white. This book is written as an address to his son. Coates talks about how his son reacted to the Michael Brown news and how he did not comfort his son because he felt that it would be wrong. He remembers how his father beat him with more anxiety than anger in a fear that he would be lost in the jail system, on the streets, or even be killed. Coates recalls a boy pulled a gun and affirmed himself in the order of things making him realize how quickly he could lose his life.
Later in the chapter, Coates spoke about his dislikes in the school system. His grandmother encouraged him to questions his actions and motivations. Reading that made me think of my late grandmother. She would always challenge my siblings and I to always use our head before acting in every circumstance. Coates found his home in the library where he became profoundly interested in black intellectual thinkers like Malcom X. He also talks about how Howard university will always be his ‘Mecca’. Though he did not graduate, he says he learned a lot from the people he met there. One of those people being Prince Jones, one of his closest friends. Many of the people he met at Howard caused him to expand the definition of what blackness was and how it did not have to be confined within the boils of the United States. He later talks about how his son must learn that each person that was enslaved is still a person that was as complex as anyone else.
Section two begins with Coates discussing the time he got pulled over by the Prince George County Police. This police force was notorious for firing their guns more than any other in the country because instead of getting reprimanded, they were rewarded. I have been pulled over many times myself and I understand what he was going through. He did not die that day, but several months later one his closest friends he met during his time at Howard named Prince Jones did. This left Coates with extreme rage at the country. He then goes on to discuss how the problem is not just with the police officers, but as a country as a whole as the police force represents the values and beliefs of the country. And of course, like the majority of the incidents that you hear about involving a white officer killing a black man, the officer was not charged.
Coates was left with fear of losing his own son came to terms with why his family members acted the way they did. He held on to his son a little tighter just because of it. That really hit home with me because all my life I was raised by my dad. He is an ex-marine and a man that has a lot of wisdom. Him being black, he alw...