Between the World and Me, a memoir written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, reminisces on his personal encounters of racial discrimination and injustice while growing up. Coates dedicates his message through a letter to his son, Samori, growing into a new time and age of racial prejudice. In this passage Coates revisits his conversation with Mable Jones, and connects it to his background and family roots, embracing what it means to be a Black man in America. Coates attempts to teach Samori that it is necessary to struggle to experience the full potential of life. Coates reiterates “The Dreamers”, White, privileged, Americans who are blinded by reality and robbing themselves of the American Dream. Coates utilizes anaphora to introduce the importance of …show more content…
Incorporating the metaphor, “...the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all.” correlates to white Americans blindsided and emphasizes the image of putting on a performance, for they are only pretending to be the dreamers amongst themselves. Coates includes the repetitive diction of fearfulness, feeling alone, and being unaware and keeping a shield up to hide true identity. Following, Coates revisits his past, utilizing the description of the ghetto culture he grew up in Chicago, comparing them to the ghettos he is still surrounded by in Philadelphia. “...the same ghettos where my mother was raised, where my father was raised.” Implying how his childhood contrasts to Samoris' childhood. Finding where he once stood while growing up within a ghetto culture, Coates restates struggle and fighting diction to Samori retelling his message of the world is fulfilled by fear. “...the abundance of beauty shops, churches, liquor stores, and crumbling housing-and I felt the old fear.” Concluding the passage, Coates utilizes hyperbole, “Through the windshield I saw the rain coming down in the sheets.” exaggerating the rainfall, symbolizing renewal and rebirth, providing closure to the end of the struggle. The sheets of rain fall suggests the repetition of blindness, and not being able to see past the windshield, for the unknown is still to
Coates begins to convey this message by stating “This is difficult because there exists, all around us, an apparatus urging us to accept American innocence at face value and not to inquire too much. And it is so easy to look away, to live with the fruits of our history and to ignore the great evil done in all of our names. But you and I have never truly had that luxury” (12-13). He then expounds further on the message, stating “But this has never been an option because the Dream rests on our bodies, the bedding made from our backs”
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a well-known author, journalist and educator. He supports African Americans and understands the black struggle. In the book, “Between the World and Me” by Coates, he delves into his journey as a child, explaining occurrences that lead him to his ending conclusion, being an African American is being placed at a disadvantage. The most powerful message sent is when he unleashes the theory about African Americans that states we are living in fear. Coates makes these connections through African Americans’ clothes, their ongoing disputes on “the streets”, and the beatings that the youths receive from their parents.
Coates uses the rhetorical appeal of both pathos and ethos. Ta-Nehisi Coates is an African American man that has first-hand dealt with racism therefore, he is educated and a witness to the harmful treatment of these Americans. He also uses ethos as a way to appeal to the audience by providing gruesome details and examples of what African Americans have faced as a whole but gets as specific as detailing the disparities between white and African Americans in the housing market. By providing this information to the audience, he asserts a purpose for writing the
Coates states “What i told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within all of it” He uses parallelism when he utters “that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body” and is showing his son that some of the situations going on now, were going on then. He is articulating that everything is yours and you have to figure out how to live with it. “When I was your age the only people I knew were black, and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.” He uses asyndetons, when he states “powerfully, adamantly, dangerously” to characterize the fate of fear in blacks when he was growing up.
Police brutality is such an important topic for Black Americans, especially during present times. The great discussion about police brutality becomes heavily accomodated in America due to the heavy terror being carried out by white police officers against unarmed, Black Americans. “The officer carries with him the power of the American state, and the weight of American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black” (Coates). In distinction to the quote, corrupt police officers take the role of “America”, and the violence brought on to African Americans symbolizes the perpetual mistreatment of us living here in America. I think Coates was strong and symbolic when he discussed police brutality.
He discusses the stereotypes and perceptions that bleed fear and justify violence against Black individuals. Coates shows how people don't want to be associated with the black race because of just how much hatred and inequality shown towards them, making them lose their roots "People who believe they are white are obsessed with the politics of personal exoneration. And the word racist, to them, conjures, if not a tobacco-spitting oaf, then something just as fantastic—a strutting goof in a white robe" (Page 116) this quote shows how the few people who benefit from white privilege, basically flip sides turning into the racist and leaving their race
Jerrione Mosley In the book Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a letter to his son revealing the reality of life, growing up as a black man. Coates mostly focused on how black lives and bodies lacked value in America and could be possibly destroyed or taken away at any time. He also talked about “The Dream”, which is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. The lack of values and importance for the black race is highly in effect.
Honesty is essential in the quest for freedom. In Between the World and Me, Coates tells his son the truth, without fear, without repression, and without appeasement. Coates doesn’t write as a spokesperson for the black community, but he writes knowing that he will be a spokesperson not matter where he is or what he does. This a reality black people must deal with every day. Coates uses the language he does not because of the fact that it will be read as more than his words, but because they are his words regardless.
But, the most powerful message that Coates gives to the coming of age black youth is that despite knowing that danger, we must live life without fear. Consequently, black youth have their innocence stripped of them at an early age. The race in its entirety is exposed to so much hatred, and it begins at birth, when the family looks at the tips of the baby’s ears to assess how dark they will be. There is hatred from the outside world, which can manifest itself in the form
Although he believes that this question is unanswerable, Coates’ purpose is to express his deepest concerns for his son and to help him understand his personal experiences as a black man. He achieves his purpose by incorporating rhetorical skills such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Coates has been a successful journalist and writer for several years. He previously worked for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and O
Finding the perfect balance between the streets and education seems to be a difficult task. Moreover, the balance can account for why a high percentage of students in urban areas are not graduating high school or attending college. In addition, a second theme I found interesting in “Between the World and Me” were the fear that Coates talks about black people having. In Coates opinion, the fear is to blame for the majority of our actions. From beating children as a form of discipline to selling drugs on the street the fear is at the root.
As a child, Coates went through a lot to survive in Baltimore despite the crimes and violence. Correspondingly, Coates explains that his father was hard on him, therefore, he was forced to study and experience the world for himself. Learning was one of Coates passions because of his
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a letter to his son explaining innocence. He tells him how the destroyers of his black body will hardly be held accountable for their actions. He explains how the people who have the authority to protect and serve this country are also capable of harming innocent people. Coates uses the Middle Passage, Trail of Tears, Michael Brown, and the Civil War to explain about innocence.
Many people forget that African Americans in this country have been enslaved for longer than they have been free. Coates reminds his son to not forget their important history and that they will continuously struggle for freedom over their own bodies. They must learn to live within a black body. These struggles can be seen in the racial profiling and brutality among police officers in cases such as Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and countless of others. He goes on to describe his childhood and how fear was the root of black existence.