One of my favorite short nonfiction books is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It is a letter to his teenage son about his experience, feelings and fears of being black in the United States.
Ta-Nehisi Coates recounts anecdotes of growing up in the United States and how it is a different world for a black person. He fears for his son’s life and tries to give him advice that he has gained over the course of his life. Coates’ college friend was killed by police and tries to understand why and come to terms with it.
With the discussion of systematic racism and police brutality coming to the forefront after police killing black Americans recently, this book is a great way to understand the struggle. Unless you are black, you won’t be able to understand the pain, the suffering and the hopelessness but by reading about these plights, you can understand how the system in the United States is part of the problem.
No person should have to live in fear of being killed by police because of the color of the skin but that is an all-too common reality in this country. Reading this novel and other nonfiction novels by black authors and you will see a common theme; fear of police officers and street gangs. fear of racism determining whether you will just be pulled over or worse, shot at.
I definitely urge people to read this short letter by Coates and you will understand a little about why the police are coming under scrutiny. The raw emotions will keep you reading while trying to understand how a system that is supposed to protect its people is also persecuting them.