Book review: Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It is not often that you read books that make you want to read it again the moment you finish it. But this was one such a book.

Addressed to his 15-year old son, Coates talks about what has made him the man he is. Growing up as a black boy, having to survive on the streets and at school, being told he should be twice as good as anybody else, being loved by parents who feared for his well-being. It is not a world I know. I am not American. But I am brought up with the ideas Coates talks about, with the idea of whiteness.

I cannot claim I fully understand every part of it. But I do share some of the experiences he write about. About visiting Paris, feeling free for the first time. Being amazed that there is a world out there that is so completely different, almost unrelated to him. Where he is an outsider as well, but where he doesn’t have to fear for his life. Even though he does, because that is what ideology has done to him.

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Looking back and forward… at my time in the US

I have extremely mixed feelings about my time in the US. Even though I spent some weeks in China shortly before going to the US, I had no idea what kind of shock I would encounter. A shock culturally, physically and emotionally. 

The United States of America, that country that I thought was so like Europe. That I thought to be the epicenter of everything Western. With the change in powers underway at the moment, the double feelings all come back in full force.
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