Rated 4.5 stars
Written as a letter to his young son, Ta-Nehisi Coates, takes the reader on a journey of life as a black man in America with all the heralding wisdom he hopes to share with his lone child. The fears, the struggles, the inequality and the lies we are pilfered from the education system, our parents, our general disposition in the world and is opened up raw for us in Coates’ investigation of himself and the world around him. Sometimes suicidally bleak and other times, intimately profound, Coates’ in depth exploration of the world as Dreamers that plunder the ideals, culture and greatness of others in order to preserve a Dream, one that has been elusive for many and false in its intent while also remaining closely attainable for a few.
Many moments in the book call forth a deep seated fear in me. Fear for my son that I knew was there but was ashamed to admit is there. The same fear I try to “work” out of the system, pay away by high annual salaries and the same fear that causes me to acquiesce to elder, colorless people that are no kinder to me than they are to the pet attached by the neck on a leash. Coates describes this fear, this want and this confusion accurately and thoroughly.
As a reader, you will learn through this investigation one thing…to investigate for yourself. In reading this, you will (or should) have the desire to look into your upbringing, analyze the fears you had or didn’t have growing up, look at where inequality happens in your community, with your children and their friends (or lack of particular friends), whether the education your child receives is correct or bias, whether your child has the same probability of dying or being murdered as other hues of humans. This analysis should move you in some direction, forward or backward. Cause you to question, seek out or enlist some change in areas you are influential in. This is the magic behind Coates’ book. This is also why this book should be read in high schools across the nation to elicit growth and understanding while children are still being fed false history and pumped up as inferior or superior.
Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended