The book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates brings to light the story of the Black experience, and the experience of the African diaspora in america as compared to its White Eurocentric american counterpart. The book addresses the real-life struggle of Black lives in america and how Coates overcame this struggle to become a successful writer and activist.
Coates’s book discusses the realities of life as a Black american man in a White male dominated society. Coates’s experience is shaped by his decisions and his ambition to reveal his truth. His experiences give the reader the opportunity to see the decisions Black men in america are forced to make every day.
Although we all struggle at times– the lives, truths and experiences of BIPOC are much more complex, rooted in experiences unique to violence enacted by the United States. These small and large racists acts are rooted in the implementation of slave culture and the ongoing imperialist, neoliberal methodology imposed on society by the United States. Those adhering to the absence of civility amongst White american society towards the Brown and Black body. The imprint of american colonialism and imperialism have attacked most by a very young age, and those who survive (all of us) will have overcome more abuse and violence than the average person in america.
This book introduced another perspective considering the very real ideology of White privilege: how it affects Black americans in all aspects of life–all which speak to the Black american voice and progress needed in social change movements. Coates perseveres throughout life, his experience in Paris outlines the contrast to his life in america and the love of his son in which he has dedicated the book.
This book brought to light my own experience growing up in america, and importantly why I left the academic institution after my first few years of college to travel Europe and South america. My travel was ignited by my struggle with identity, the fear of erasure and experiencing the world through the lens of a mixed raced, multicultural person of Black, Ingenious, Irish-american and South Asian ancestry. But through the struggle of black and white, good and evil, all this anxiety come down to one thing:
The Dream. “The American Dream” is so much more than stumbling around in a broken system or feeling the weight of other people’s choices in your life–when we seek to see beyond the images that others have created of us, we begin to see that there is a world beyond the one “given” to us, and when we harness our power in the service of love, we not only move mountains–we also become the sea.
This kind of empowerment can not be replaced by an ideology alone, but through the freedom that is our birthright–our land has been run by manic, psychopathic, narcissistic sociopaths for far too long –when the world awakens, it will be a force like we have never seen.
Portraits from Paris
Musée du Louvre, Paris France 2008
Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris France 2008
Champ de Mars, Paris France 2008