Analysis Of Ta-Nehisi Coates Between The World And Me

939 Words4 Pages

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ widely acclaimed nonfiction 2015 novel, Between the World and Me, is arguably one of the most quintessential reads about race issues in the United States. For decades, race has always been a tense topic and still brings about upheaval as many differing opinions about the issue of race exists in society. In recent years, new debates have been ignited with recent rises of alleged abuses from the justice system against African Americans. Partially inspired by the rise of these cases and by a meeting with former President Barack Obama in 2013, Coates attempts to tackle the issue of race issues affecting African Americans within his novel. He presents his take on race related issues regarding African Americans in a heart-wrenching …show more content…

For instance, Coates talks a lot about culture within his novel. A simplified definition of culture can be defined as the customs, values, and beliefs or a group of people. In Between the World and Me, there is a lot of discussion about African American culture. Coates discusses Howard University as being his Mecca for instance. Howard University is a historically African American school and therefore not only is an academic institution, but it is also a a vibrant community made up of black people from every background. This community is what socializes Coates into the beliefs he has written about in the novel. It makes him proud to have the quirks he has for being dark-skinned. In addition, there is a lot of discussion about American culture and how the country treats African Americans. The country does not treat African Americans well, Coates is quick to point out, as he emphasizes that the nation was constructed through the exploitation and oppression of black people. In a sense, this is illustrative of ethnocentricity, as the system inherently presents white people as being superior over African Americans. The forefathers of the United States, for goodness sakes, thought that African Americans were subhuman. Not only was the book illustrative of culture and ethnocentricity though as it was also a great example of the conflict theory. Conflict theory is defined as society having tension and conflict when resources, status, and power are unevenly distributed between groups in society. Clearly, this is what had caused Ta-Nehisi Coates in writing Between the World and Me in the first place. African Americans do not have the resources, status, or power that Caucasians do and racial tensions are talked at lengths within the novel. Perhaps most importantly however, the book addresses the topic that is currently being discussed in class, race. African Americans are still a minority group in the United

Open Document