Thoughts by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau 2015, 152 pages
This book is a letter from Coates to his 15 year old son about what it means to be a black man in America based on his personal experiences and universal studies. Beautifully written, startling, fresh: POWERFUL.
“This is required reading.” – Toni Morrison
“Fear ruled everything around me, and I knew, as all black people do, that this fear was connected to the Dream out there, to the unworried boys, to pie and pot roast, to the white fences and green lawns nightly beamed into our television sets.”
I could mention and include all the quotes that struck me, but perhaps it best to suggest you go read this yourself and mark the quotes that strike you.
On education: “I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom is a jail of other peoples interests.”
“Schools are not concerned with curiosity – they are concerned with compliance.”
Someone in my bookclub (we were discussing a much different book but her comment was startling) mentioned that she had viewed a documentary on how eerily similar our schools are to prisons.
I know I have biases and unconscious thinking that is reflects my privilege and my own experiences and that these don’t always allow for diverse expression, truth and understanding. I want to do better. This is a powerful read for my powerful November.
RATING: Five slices of blueberry pie.
“That other world was suburban and endless, organized around pot roasts, blueberry pies, fireworks, ice cream Sundaes, immaculate bathrooms, small toy trucks that were loosed in wooded backyard with streams and glens.”
I hope that pie can be connected to a better dream, one of world peace, value and respect for all.