Coates writes beautifully and plainly to explain his experience and wisdom to his son. Though his son is the intended reader, his words are something everyone should read. There’s no simple way to explain what he talks about because he covers so many topics, though it can be said that they all relate to the lack of security that a black body has historically had in the United States.
But it’s so much more than that. He doesn’t lament the unfairness of the world or advocate the innocence of anyone. He just points out the realities and that they are a part of life. He doesn’t even insist that his son or anyone change things, but accept that they are what they are for now. No change can happen without realizing the state that we all are in.
I loved Coates’s elegant style of writing and the way it was poetic and brutal in its own way. So much of the content of this book have been said in other ways by other people and they were missing something. Coates isn’t apologetic or inflammatory, which made the whole experience of this book enlightening in a whole new way for me.
Read this. Read it even if you want nothing to do with race relations. Read it even if you consider yourself someone who doesn’t “see race.” Read it no matter what your race is. Especially, read it if you live in the US.