BRC Book Group Discussion, April 20
The next Bellevue Rotary Book Group discussion will be Wednesday, April 20, from 7‑9PM, and will be hosted by Katherine Thompson at a centrally located Puget Sound Bank Conference Room. The book is “Between the World and Me,” by Ta Nehisi Coates (176 pages). If you haven’t joined us before, this might be a good time to do so. The book is short, well reviewed, and sure to generate a terrific discussion.
If you have an ODD numbered birth year, please bring a bottle of wine to share.
If you (your partner) plan on participating, please RSVP to Margaret Doman.
An Amazon Best Book of July 2015:
Readers of his work in The Atlantic and elsewhere know Ta-Nehisi Coates for his thoughtful and influential writing on race in America. Written as a series of letters to his teenaged son, his new memoir, Between the World and Me, walks us through the course of his life, from the tough neighborhoods of Baltimore in his youth, to Howard University — which Coates dubs “The Mecca” for its revelatory community of black students and teachers — to the broader Meccas of New York and Paris. Coates describes his observations and the evolution of his thinking on race, from Malcolm X to his conclusion that race itself is a fabrication, elemental to the concept of American (white) exceptionalism. Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, and South Carolina are not bumps on the road of progress and harmony, but the results of a systemized, ubiquitous threat to “black bodies” in the form of slavery, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Coates is direct and, as usual, uncommonly insightful and original. There are no wasted words. This is a powerful and exceptional book. — Jon Foro.
From a review forwarded by Nancy Pasternak:
I’ve never been shown and made to understood the experience of a life so unlike my own as I have with this book. I felt the frustration and fear that Mr. Coates felt growing up black in America. I felt the anger he feels at people who believe that they are white dismissing that experience as so many sour grapes. I felt the hypocrisy of being told not to wear hoodies or play loud music for fear of someone breaking your body. That’s why this book matters. It’s not a solution to our race problems or an accurate assessment of the progress of America as a nation. It is not a book about white people and how we should change. It is simply a powerful testament of one man’s experience, and an offering of understanding. I grew up rich, white and privileged in suburban Virginia. I never had to think about my safety, my future or my pride through the lens of my race. I couldn’t even begin to conceive of that experience. Ta-Nehisi Coates is the first person to break through that reality of my upbringing and allow me to step into another experience for a little while. It was life-changing and important.