This essay, which appeared in The Atlantic in July 2015, is an excerpt from Coates’ book Between the World and Me, which went on to win many well deserved awards for the quality of its writing and the necessity of its subject. In our class, we will read this closely over two class sessions, and consider it in context of events that have happened since its writing and in context with other interviews and topices we have considered..
This poignant TEDx Talk by Jay Smooth addresses mindsets and habits that often get in the way of important discussions of race.
Ta-Nehisi Coates reads from a section of “Letter to My Son” in this visual and auditory introduction to his work.
In this interview, which was conducted after Ta-Nehisi’s groundbreaking essay, “The Case for Reparations” includes Coates discussion of this topic and relates it to his childhood in Baltimore. We are watching this powerful discussion and thinking of these issues in context of his later essay, “Letter to My Son.”
In “Growing Up in Baltimore,”, published before “Letter to My Son,” Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses the environment that shaped his early years. This includes the effects of the optimism created by the Civil Rights Movement, the fear created by crack epidemic, and his romantic memories of the music, sports and comic book heroes of the 80s. The video ends with a tribute to his later home, New York City.