January 23rd, 2021
| Published: 2015 by Spiegel & Grau |
| Genre: Non-Fiction |
| Sub-Genre: Memoir, Race |
| Length: 152 Pages |
| Age: Adult |
| ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |
This is the first book off the list of other bloggers favourites of 2020 lists I’ve read, and so far I’m thinking book bloggers have great taste.
What Is It About?
This memoir is in letter form and is addressed to Coates’s teenage son. It reveals the hardships he’s faced since childhood and goes into the racial discriminations black American’s face and how they’ve has affected his life and his opportunities.
What Did I Think?
Coates’s shares very powerful, raw and honest words in this memoir about being black in America and every challenge he has faced in life just because of the colour of his skin.
It’s a short book, but I didn’t read it quickly like I expected to. I read it incredibly slowly, stopping quite often to note down a quote and interesting fact. It’s one of those memoirs where you have to take in every word and can’t skim over anything. Take every word in, unpack them, and let them make you think.
“The destroyers will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.”
It confronts head on all the harmful cultural faults America has towards black people. For example, 60% of black men who don’t finish high school end up incarcerated and that’s just one of those things that is seen as inevitable. When really, we should all be horrified by that.
The only negative thing I will say is, while I connected to his words, I didn’t connect to his voice. Maybe if I’d listened to the audiobook it would have been a different experience, but I just felt his writing was quite stiff and textbook.
This is a good place to start if you’re new to memoirs about race, white privilege and police brutality. It covers a lot of ground reveals a lot of injustices black Americans face.