by Ta-Nehisi Coates
It’s hard to summarize this book and do it any measure of justice. Written by the author, a journalist who has written such raw, articulate articles as The Good, Racist People and The Case for Reparations, as a long letter to his teenaged son, this is one man’s account of what it means to be black in America. To be black in America means carrying the scars and weight of history, to carry a fear and the knowledge that being black means being expected to try twice as hard, be twice as good, and settle for half as much. It means navigating the world of white privilege among white people (or as Coates says, “people who believe themselves to be white”) who seem oblivious to their own privilege and the fact that it – and, indeed, America itself – was built on black bodies – disposable then, disposable now.
Toni Morrison said it right: this is required reading.