What We Can Not Be Free Until They Are Free Essay

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“We cannot be free until they are free,” said the late and great James Baldwin in an excerpt from “A Letter to My Nephew: The Fire Next Time”. Never has there ever been a truer statement on the outlook of the American people. Now we have writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has been likened to James Baldwin, and because of his style in “Between the World and Me.” However, in classic Coates style, what we get from this book is tales of childhood in West Baltimore, violence, gang, love, hope, education, police brutality, and most importantly of all, we get race and racism in a style of “pessimism”. From this “pessimism” I ended with a question: is there hope for the Dreamers and the black community alike? I had the most positive view of this book and that question summarized the whole novel. It tugged at heart strings that I didn’t know that could be reached, it made me tear up with a deep sadness and longing that will forever be with me because of my skin color and gender. So when Coates addresses the overall theme of race and racism in a black body and how to manage it, he gives a silver lining of hope to his son, for whom the book was written to, and to his audience. There is hope, but there is also reality, and to have hope means take away what the Dreamers shielded from themselves for decades, their false reality. Education is always key to becoming knowledgeable in areas you know, vaguely know, or do not know at all. Coates first mentions about education was is very negative.

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