The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin

Decent Essays

"Between the world and me” is basically a letter Coates writes to his 15-year old son, Samori. The style and structure of the book borrows largely from “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin which has an epistolary structure and an elliptical style. At a glance, the texts seems like they were not meant for the general public as the tone of book insinuates privacy and intimacy. However, this is not the case. As a matter of fact the appearance of privacy is deceptive and he uses the letter form to give him a larger scope to illustrate the emotional complexity of black life in America. Some parts of the text portray characteristics of a faithful letter while some indicate that Coates is speaking to larger audience. One of the moment which shows that it is a personal letter is revealed after the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown as Coates addresses his son one on one: “…You stayed up till 11 pm that night, waiting for the announcement of an indictment, and when instead it was announced that there was none you said, “I’ve got to go,” and you went into your room, and I heard you crying. I came in five minutes after, and I didn’t hug you, and I didn’t comfort you, because I thought it would be wrong to comfort you. I did not tell you that it would be okay, because I have never believed it would be okay...” In another moment, he appears to be speaking to the general public and rallying his black counterparts against black supremacy: “…Perhaps our triumphs

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