AN IN­DICT­MENT OF RACIAL IN­EQUAL­ITY

HT’s ed­i­tors of­fer a book rec­om­men­da­tion ev­ery Satur­day, which pro­vides history, con­text, and helps un­der­stand re­cent news events

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - COMMENT -

The United States (US) has plunged into chaos. At the root of it is the hor­rific killing of Ge­orge Floyd by a white po­lice of­fi­cer in Min­neapo­lis. The in­ci­dent has sparked protests across the coun­try, with a na­tion­wide spon­ta­neous civil lib­er­ties move­ment ask­ing for jus­tice and re­forms.

This week, we rec­om­mend Be­tween the World and Me by Ta-Ne­hisi Coates. Writ­ten as a let­ter to his 15-year-old son, the book is a pow­er­ful and sear­ing in­dict­ment of race in the US. Coates draws from his own child­hood and adult life, and that of a friend who was killed by a po­lice­man, to un­der­line how deeply em­bed­ded racial prej­u­dice is in the coun­try. Coates has a clin­i­cal and deeply pes­simistic out­look — of how the foun­da­tion of the US is white supremacy, and the de­grad­ing of the African-Amer­i­can body and ex­pe­ri­ence, and how this will not change. He finds a way to de­pict the pain, the sad­ness, the rage at the in­jus­tice in his so­ci­ety in a deeply lyrical and poignant man­ner. As Toni Morrison said, with this book, Coates emerged as a true in­tel­lec­tual in­her­i­tor of James Bald­win.

Book: Be­tween the World and Me Au­thor: Ta-Ne­hisi Coates Year: 2015

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