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  • Shea Robinson

Between the World and Me Book Review

Updated: Mar 23


Category: Camellias on Moss-a story you never forget + Freesia

Genre: Nonfiction, Biography

A friend told me that she read this book in the bath; read until the water got cold, added more hot water and kept reading; read until the water got cold, added more hot water and finished the book. For me, I read this book a chapter at a time, sitting with the words, ruminating on the ideas, and finding my heart flutter and resettle as I understood new truths. The first read took me months. And then I immediately flipped back to the front page and started again.


Ta-Nehisi Coates writes this novel to his son. In this letter, he explores how to live free from dreams that were never meant for him, how to live in a world created by breaking black bodies and whose systems continue to do so, how to give his son a world in which he may live and be free.


Between the World and Me is poetry in motion and I cannot do it justice with my own words. I need time to process and think and hear his words in all the layers of meaning he is offering. I want to read and reread and underline and ponder and ache for the injustice and be called to action and then return to read and listen.


If you have one reading goal in 2021, have this short book be the one. You will not walk away empty handed and your life will be changed. That is a guarantee.

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