This short book, Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner Toni Morrison rightly says, “is required reading.” Composed as a letter to his son, Coates writes with authenticity and prophetic clarity, and if America refuses to hear then perhaps the time for America is over. I have read numerous books arguing for the proposition that all human beings are made in the image of God and against the violence of racism, but none so compelling.
Beginning in 1626, at 74 Wall Street, in the heart of America’s financial district, was a slave auction. Not far away, on September 11, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed into clouds of debris, dust and shattered bodies. What does it mean that the second act of horror registers in my imagination but not the first? “Bin Laden,” Coates writes, “was not the first man to bring terror to that section of the city.” In Between the World and Me, Coates invites us into his experience, thinking and heart and in the process, we are changed. Please read it. Allow it to shape your prayers and your life.
Book recommended: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York, NY: Spiegel & Grau; 2015) 152 pages.