Ta-Nehisi Coates 'Letter To My Nephew'

Words: 385
Pages: 2

Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates’s short novel, “Between the World and Me”, is a retrospective yet telling piece in the form of a heartfelt letter. Inspired by James Baldwin’s “Letter to My Nephew”, Coates chooses his own son as the recipient. It is within this letter that Coates cautions his son, and explains the dangers of the world they live in. The overarching message of the novel being, as African American’s, we are sought after, only to be destroyed. Although the story acts as a warning, it is also one that, in three major ways, gives hope and reassurance. The first major takeaway from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s novel is the realization of white America’s resistance to undo the wrongs brought by years of social, economic, and mental oppression. White America believes in, what Coates describes as, “the dream” and they do so despite the continuous struggle African American’s face. Coates acknowledges that his son will have a different experience growing up black, but in this major way, their understandings will not be changed. This is because no matter what the time, African American’s are alone in the struggle, and a driven to stay there.
The belief, construction and implementation of this “dream”, is yet another takeaway that is stressed in
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Coates identifies continuous knowledge as the forefront of our own revolution, for with knowledge comes power. In a community where the African American is constantly pressed into a corner, one must strive to empower themselves. Throughout, “Between the World and Me”, is a letter of notice just as it is a letter of hope. Although as a collective, we are seen as lesser, with time the African American minority has taken every opportunity for growth. Only by continuing to take these opportunities, will we be “dreamers”, and we will do so under our own instruction, within our own