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Between the World and Me
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CIVIL RIGHTS > ARCHIVE - DECEMBER - BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME - (December 7th - start date)

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Teri (teriboop) This is the thread for the discussion of the December Book of the Month - Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

BOOK OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER - BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates by Ta-Nehisi Coates Ta-Nehisi Coates

Synopsis:

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)

“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Praise for Between the World and Me

“I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading.”—Toni Morrison

“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the James Baldwin of our era, and this is his cri de coeur. A brilliant thinker at the top of his powers, he has distilled four hundred years of history and his own anguish and wisdom into a prayer for his beloved son and an invocation to the conscience of his country. Between the World and Me is an instant classic and a gift to us all.”—Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns

“Immense, multifaceted . . . This is a poet’s book, revealing the sensibility of a writer to whom words—exact words—matter. . . . As a meditation on race in America, haunted by the bodies of black men, women, and children, Coates’s compelling, indeed stunning, work is rare in its power to make you want to slow down and read every word. This is a book that will be hailed as a classic of our time.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future . . .


Teri (teriboop) About the Author

Coates is an American writer, journalist, and educator. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where he writes about cultural, social and political issues, particularly as regards African-Americans. Coates has worked for The Village Voice, Washington City Paper, and Time. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, O, and other publications. In 2008 he published a memoir, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. His second book, Between the World and Me, was released in July 2015. It won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He was the recipient of a "Genius Grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2015.




Teri (teriboop) Remember the following:

Everyone is welcome but make sure to use the goodreads spoiler function.

If you come to the discussion after folks have finished reading it, please feel free to post your comments as we will always come back to the thread to discuss the book.

The rules

You must follow the rules of the History Book Club and also:

First rule of Buddy Read:
Respect other people's opinions, no matter how controversial you think they may be.

Second rule of Buddy Read:
Always, always Chapter/page mark and spoiler alert your posts if you are discussing parts of the book.

To do these spoilers, follows these easy steps:

Step 1. enclose the word spoiler in forward and back arrows; < >

Step 2. write your spoiler comments in

Step 3. enclose the word /spoiler in arrows as above, BUT NOTE the forward slash in front of the word. You must put that forward slash in.

Your spoiler should appear like this:
(view spoiler)

And please mark your spoiler clearly like this:

State a Chapter and page if you can.
EG: Chapter 24, page 154

Or say Up to Chapter *___ (*insert chapter number) if your comment is more broad and not from a single chapter.

Chapter 1, p. 23
(view spoiler)

If you are raising a question/issue for the group about the book, you don't need to put that in a spoiler, but if you are citing something specific, it might be good to use a spoiler.

By using spoilers, you don't ruin the experience of someone who is reading slower or started later.

Thanks.


Teri (teriboop) You can copy and paste below to get your spoiler right:

<spoiler>Put Text Here</spoiler>


Teri (teriboop) Between the World and Me

Table of Contents

Epigraph - 1
Chapter I - 4
Chapter II - 74
Chapter III - 134


Teri (teriboop) Suggested Syllabus

Week One - December 7th - December 13th

Epigraph and Chapter I - pp. 1 - 73

Week Two - December 14th - December 20th

Chapter II - pp. 74-133

Week Three and Four - December 21st - January 3rd

Chapter III - pp. 134 - 150


Teri (teriboop) Those of you who are going to read Between the World and Me, use the spoiler html because this is a single thread discussion.

1. Read message 3 and that message shows you the rules for the buddy read discussion and how to do the spoiler html.

2. Message 4 actually shows you the spoiler html code. Use it on this thread.

3. Where is the Table of Contents and the reading syllabus? - Message 5 and 6.


Teri (teriboop) All, we do not have to do citations regarding the book or the author being discussed during the book discussion on these discussion threads - nor do we have to cite any personage in the book being discussed while on the discussion threads related to this book.

However if we discuss folks outside the scope of the book or another book is cited which is not the book and author discussed then we do have to do that citation according to our citation rules. That makes it easier to not disrupt the discussion.


Teri (teriboop) Summary and Discussion Questions for Chapter I

(view spoiler)


message 10: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) I also have a Glossary open with some videos, information from the book. This will be an ongoing thread and is a spoiler thread, with some active/open discussion as well.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 11: by Betty (new) - added it

Betty (bellemercier) Up to page 17

(view spoiler)


message 12: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Response to Betty:

(view spoiler)


message 13: by Helga (last edited Dec 09, 2015 06:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments I have read other books on race but this is so poignant and inspiring and should be required reading for everyone. It is a great book to read at this troubling time and should bring memories to mind. Thanks for introducing it to HBC.


message 14: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) I agree Helga and I have seen that same sentiment (required reading) from others. I encourage you to watch the video I posted in the Glossary thread of his interview at Howard University.


message 15: by Kristen (last edited Dec 10, 2015 07:06AM) (new) - added it

Kristen | 66 comments I'm up to about page 25 and I like what Betty had to say above, and thank you Teri for pointing to Rick Riordan's review, which was excellent. (view spoiler)


message 16: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Kristen wrote: "I'm up to about page 25"

Kristen, I'm glad you are joining the conversation. Just a reminder, this is a single threaded discussion so we use the spoiler tags when referencing details/themes of the book. See msgs 3 and 4 above. Could you add the spoiler tags to your comment please? Thank you!

Response to Kristen

(view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments I've already finished. (It's a pretty short book.) Can I put up my review behind a spoiler link?


message 18: by Kristen (new) - added it

Kristen | 66 comments Teri wrote: "Kristen wrote: "I'm up to about page 25"

Kristen, I'm glad you are joining the conversation. Just a reminder, this is a single threaded discussion so we use the spoiler tags when referencing detai..."


Done, sorry about that!


message 19: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Kressel wrote: "I've already finished. (It's a pretty short book.) Can I put up my review behind a spoiler link?"

Yes, Kressel. Just be sure to preface it outside of the spoiler that it is your whole book review. Thank you!


message 20: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Kristen wrote: "Teri wrote: "Kristen wrote: "I'm up to about page 25"

Kristen, I'm glad you are joining the conversation. Just a reminder, this is a single threaded discussion so we use the spoiler tags when refe..."


No worries. Thank you for doing that.


message 21: by Kressel (last edited Dec 10, 2015 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kressel Housman | 917 comments Here's my book review:

(view spoiler)


Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments Great review Kressel. I like what you say and what Oates says in this memoir.


Kressel Housman | 917 comments Thanks!


message 24: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Very well said, Kressel.


Kressel Housman | 917 comments Thank you! So what do you think he means by "the Dream?"


message 26: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) The American Dream

Bear with me as I'm typing this off my phone, so I'll be a bit brief for now.

(view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments I don't know if I need to put my response under a spoiler code, but I'll err on the side of caution.

(view spoiler)

On another subject, isn't it kind of neat that the group reads we have going on now have such similar titles? One Man Against the World and Between the World and Me. One man was at the top of the world, believed everyone was against him, and destroyed himself. Another argues that the world is against him, yet now he's at the top of his game.


message 28: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Always best to err on the side of caution.

American Dream

(view spoiler)

I had not thought about the connection between these two books, Kressel, but you are very right. It is a great comparison. Like you, I had thought about how Coates had risen up and if his ideas on life have changed at all through this process. I don't necessarily expect they have, but am curious.


Kressel Housman | 917 comments Actually, one of Coates' oldest friends interviewed him on "This American Life" about the changes to his lifestyle now that he's become so successful:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio...


message 30: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) That was an interesting piece. Thanks for sharing. Would you put it in the Glossary too? Thank you!


message 31: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Summary and Discussion Questions for Chapter II

(view spoiler)


message 32: by Teri (last edited Dec 17, 2015 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) I came across this interesting article about Coates and his book.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015...

Please read and see the question below:

(view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments (view spoiler)


Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments Kressel wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

Good point. I identify the same way.


message 35: by Teri (last edited Dec 17, 2015 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) I don't know why the article link didn't show up last night when I posted it, but it's on there now.

Response to Kressel:

(view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments (view spoiler)


message 37: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Response to Kressel

(view spoiler)


message 38: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Hello everyone. We are about to begin our discussion on the last chapter of the book. It is the shortest, and yet we will take a couple of weeks to discuss it and the book as a whole. This is in part due to the holidays and the brevity of the book. I think this is a great discussion book, that can spark a lot of topics to talk about.

Summary and Discussion Questions for Chapter III

(view spoiler)


message 39: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) A very interesting Q & A with Ta-Nehisi Coates:

http://www.postbulletin.com/entertain...


Kressel Housman | 917 comments To Teri: (view spoiler)


message 41: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Kressel: (view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments (view spoiler)


message 43: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) Kressel:

(view spoiler)


Kressel Housman | 917 comments One of the things that's influenced my thinking on this business of dividing ourselves up into ethnic groups is this podcast:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/invisibilia...


message 45: by Teri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Teri (teriboop) I'll have to listen to that this weekend while traveling. Thanks for the link!!


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