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Comparing Coates 'Book Between The World And Me'

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Reading and analyzing Coates ' book “Between the World and Me” I found several messages that resonated with me. The one that influenced me the greatest being there is no protection or defense from being African-American. Coates references the black body throughout the novel. This term refers to black life. The author uses numerous examples of the black body being taken whether it be personal (Prince Jones) or current events (Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin). Prince Jones was a classmate of the author at the illustrious Howard University, killed unjustly by a Prince George County officer, who was out of his jurisdiction at the time. Prince Jones was raised in an affluent family and was the picture of black excellence. With a radiologist as a mother,…show more content…
On page 25 of the novel Coates states, “Fail to comprehend the streets and you gave up your body now. But fail to comprehend the schools and you gave up your body later.” As someone who believes that education is the ticket out of anywhere, Coates’ quote stuck with me. The author 's words challenged my beliefs, and also forced me to think differently. How can a student be completely focused on learning when they must deal with all the negativity going on in their environment? 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. This sparked my thought of how one is to overcome the fear if that is even possible. Another point that I found interesting was Coates ' view of black history. Because it was a perspective I’ve never heard before, I pondered on the idea heavily. At first, like myself, Coates took an enormous amount of pride in black history. Originally thinking that slavery showed how durable and resilient African-Americans were as a group, Coates later realized that the history he was honoring all stemmed from negative and atrocious places, which was not anything to turn into a triumphant story. In conclusion, the novel was filled with many nuggets of knowledge and insight. Coates used his writing to bring awareness on issues that go
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