Book #43 for 2015
This was a difficult and uncomfortable read for me. As it should be. As a white American, I felt like I was eavesdropping on an intimate conversation, and as this book was a letter from a father to his teenage son, that was very much the case. As a white American, though, I can learn from this powerfully written indictment of white America and how thoroughly it has embraced the brutality upon which the nation was founded. I can begin to recognize how I have been part of this culture without even trying.
But I also found I could, as an American woman, relate to some of Coates’s remarks to his son. I am still a white American woman, so I cannot even begin to imagine the struggles of any woman of color in this country, but I have only recently begun to realize how targeted women really are, regardless of creed or skin color, by our entrenched patriarchy, and much of what Coates directed here to his son really spoke to me on a personal level.
I would recommend this to anybody, especially if you have a particular interest in race relations. And more especially if you don’t.