re: Coates’s book ‘Between the World and Me’

I have been reading the book Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel and Grau, 2015)

On the dusk jacket I read this: “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.

I understand with my head and heart something of what Coates is saying.   But I cannot share it, because of the huge differences in my background in comparison to his.   But I feel the pull of empathy, looking to share as I have in my and our family’s long-standing active relation with blacks, mostly in Prince Edward County, but wherever I live.   I look to reach across the barriers with a sense of the dignity, worth, and promise of every individual, even with the pressures of racist organizations and divisive cultural beliefs of so many in our world today.

John S. Peale

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