Many people believed that the election of a black president would progress America to a new age of racial harmony where black Americans would gain the equality of their white counterparts. Ironically, electing a black president has made the country more divided on various fronts where some people are even saying that black Americans have lost some of their rights during President Obama’s tenure. Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ memoir in the form of a letter to his 15- year-old son, Samori. In it, he expounds on his views of racism which tie directly to the treatment of modern day black Americans in this current social climate--a powder keg ready to explode.
As Coates confronts the ongoing struggle of being black in America, he shows how it has shaped his life and American history, many times at the expense of black lives. Coates poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society today, one of the questions being, “what should Americans do to treat black Americans as fairly as white Americans?”
White and black Americans are deeply divided on views of race relations in America. The racial divide in America is fueled by the social inequality in the school systems, justice system, and poverty in general. Black Americans should be treated as fairly as white Americans with full access of privileges, benefits, and responsibilities of any American.They should have the right to determine for themselves what they want to do with their
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There have been many novels written about the experience of being born black in America but only so few have been able to give the reader a vivid point of view of what African Americans have gone through for generations. The book “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a very sympathetic letter to his fifth teen year old son Samori. Coates explains his experiences in the past on how being born into the world as a “Black Body” is considered as a disadvantage in America. Coates grew up with strict parents that were consistently keeping a keen eye on him always having his father constantly beating him and an always anxious mother. But as he grew older and had a son of his own he then realized the reasons behind his parent’s actions.
America is seen as the country of liberty and equality; however, internal conflicts ruin such perceptions of America. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about an American internal conflict of racial inequality in his open letter “Letter to My Son”, which was published by The Atlantic on July 4th in reference to Independence Day. He claims that the American Dream that many citizens strive for is creating a racial gap in socio-economic equality. Throughout Coates’s open letter to his son, Coates uses his ethos appeal as an educated individual and pathos appeal as a loving father in order to build up his convincing argument of African-American inequality and to appeal to his intended audience, who are parents of all ethnicities; however, his lack of logos and use of situational experiences weakens his argument due to the lack of compatibility with his intended audience.
Racial reconciliation can be defined as the bringing together of different races; or in other words, embracing diversity. The value of it in my life is immeasurable. I have been extremely blessed to grow up in a time and culture where I personally don’t experience much racism; where I am not held back from pursuing my dreams and passions just because of the color of my skin. It is absolutely crazy to think that if I was born sixty or seventy years ago, my life would be completely different just for the sheer fact that I’m Asian.
Between the World and Me, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, is written as a letter to his son about realities associated with being black in the United States of America. His tone is somewhat poetic and quite bleak, based on his personal experiences. The book is intense, it is an address to a nation that ignores its own blatant history of racism, a nation that does not prosecute police officers who kill innocent black citizens, a nation that supports a policy of mass incarceration. He writes about growing up in Baltimore, Maryland and details the ways in which institutions (school, police, and the streets) discipline, endanger, and threaten to harm black men and women. Between the World and Me is an intimate confession of the fears of a black American father.
“Between the World and Me”, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, is a letter written to his son about what it means to be black and how tough it is to be a part of this race in the United States of America. In this book, Coates talks about his life in the black community, starting from childhood memories all the way to present day. Coates also tries sends a message, which is that his son should not lower his guard and be completely confident about who he is, instead he should be afraid about what the world is capable of doing to a black man. In this work, Coates disagrees on what it means to be black or white in America.
When I survey the landscape in black America, it does not take long for me to recognize the massive impression of a vehement struggle of a collective group of people to simply keep their head above water. The problem in the black community is that it is where every ill of this nation is felt first. It is the place in which much of the economic devastation is felt and absorbed in order to relieve some of the pressure off of this nation’s more affluent citizens.
The struggle for equality and the battle to have one’s suppressed voice be heard is prevalent throughout the history of the United States. The Native Americans, women, and even Catholics have all encountered discrimination and belittlement in one shape or form, which eventually urged individuals within those groups to rise up and demand equal opportunity. As the United States began to shift away from slavery, one of the most deep rooted, controversial dilemmas aroused- what do black people need to do in order to gain civil rights both economically and socially? Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Exposition Address” and W.E.B. Du Bois's “The Soul of Black Folks” were pieces of writings influenced by the puzzle that black people were left to solve. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du Bois had contrasting ideas, but they both contributed a piece to the puzzle in hopes of solving the never ending mind game.
“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 the all of it.” (Coates). This powerful quote exemplifies the mistreatment of blacks in America as something that has been prevalent throughout our nation’s history and is still present in our contemporary world. Our national founding document promised that “All men are created equal”. As a nation we have never achieved the goal of equality largely because of the institution of slavery and its continuing repercussions on American society.
This theme helps illuminate how black people came to be treated in America both when slavery existed and beyond into today’s society. The theme that black people are disposable bodies within American society. Because of the tradition of treating black people as objects or whose value strictly came from their ability to make profit, the idea of what it means to be black in America is imbedded in the danger of losing one’s body. Although slavery has ended, the racism remains as a violence inflicted on black people’s bodies. Coates is more than happy to emphasize that racism is an instinctive practice.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay, The Case for Reparations, is a rhetorical essay focused on attempting to convince American’s that the descendants of African-Americans are owed something since their ancestors were a key part of the foundation of this nation. His main audience is clearly African Americans, but my question is how well he does convincing other demographics. Can he convince Asians, Caucasians, or Hispanics? What about single mothers in Kentucky? If Ta-nehisi Coates is unable to convince more than just his target audience then it can be argued that he did not do a great job of communicating his ideas to everyone.
Between the World and Me examines the history and present circumstances of racial inequality and segregation in America. Coates directs the book to Samori to give his audience personal insight into the various stages of a black man’s life. From his childhood, to his college experience, to his complicated role as a father, Coates gradually unfolds a critical account of the relationship between black and white communities. He calls those who “believe themselves to be white” the “Dreamers” and criticizes them for the indifference toward black people 's experiences. He wants the audience to reflect upon themselves and realize that they are part of the problem.
American society likes to believe that race relations in our country are no longer strained. We do not want to hear about the need for affirmative action or about the growing numbers of white supremacist groups. In order to appease our collective conscious, we put aside the disturbing fact that racism is alive and well in the great U.S.A. It hides in the workplace, it subtly shows its ugly face in the media, and it affects the education of minority students nationwide. In the following excerpts from an interview with a middle class African American male, the reader will find strong evidence that race plays a major role in determining the type and quality of education a student receives.
The abolition of slavery in the United States presented southern African Americans with many new opportunities, including the option of relocation in search of better living conditions. The mass movement of black people from the rural areas of the South to the cities of the North, known as the Black Migration, came in the 1890s when black men and women left the south to settle in cities such as Philadelphia and New York, fleeing from the rise of Jim Crowe Laws and searching for work. This migration of blacks from the South has been an important factor in the formation of the Harlem Renaissance. The period referred to as the Harlem Renaissance, was a flourishing period of artistic and literary creation in African-American culture and
Throughout history, blacks have been treated the poorest out of all races. Although everyone under God is to be treated equal, whites thought of themselves as being the superior race. In 1619 a Dutch ship brought 20 slaves to America and it took nearly 240 years for slavery to end in 1865(Ronald, , para. 3).These helpless slaves were taken to America and put to work growing anything from cotton to tobacco. Slaves had absolutely no rights. They were simply property of their “Massa’.” Being disrespectful to a white man could get a Negro killed and they just accepted the facts of the matter. The south was the most notorious in its treatment of slaves and slaves would run away. It was a big risk, but a slave that made it to a
The American past, with all its racial discontent-of Native American; of the enslavement of Africans; of segregation based on culture and origins; of anti-Semitism, anti-Africanism and discrimination - underlines every conceivable interpretation of the violent fury periodically seen in our larger cities. To say that we are victimized by history-that is, both by the cards dealt by history and by an ignorance of historical context-means that we are subject to misunderstanding the nature of the disillusionment, anger, and hoplessness that exist in our country. I do not see complete, destructive form of nihilism, (Asante2003)