Thank you for voting to read Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I don’t know if I would have gotten to it, were it not for your votes to read this one together. I admit to reading the book through once already, in anticipation of reading it with you. I wanted to have a good sense of how to lead the conversation here. I’m not sure reading it in advance has equipped me for that, but it certainly was an emotional read. I would agree with Toni Morrison who said of this book, “This is required reading.” I have underlined and jotted notes on nearly every page. I have been angry, hopeful, sad, and challenged while reading it. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to sharing the experience of reading this book with you.
On Friday, we’ll begin by talking through most of Part One of the book. Please don’t hold back in the comments. If you’ve got something to say, this is a safe place to say it. If you’ve got a question you’re wrestling with, this is the place for that, too. We practice grace, here. While we may differ in our opinions and perspective on the world, we treat one another with respect and kindness. Let’s make listening to one another a priority and remember to lead with the heart.
For those who’d like a reading schedule, you can use this as a guide. I do want to be able to be flexible, should we find the need to linger in a certain part of the book longer than anticipated.
March 4: Part One
March 11: Part One, continued
March 18: Part Two
March 25: Part Three
March 28: Live Facebook chat, in partnership with The Red Couch book club
In addition to the weekly posts here, I’ll also film a short chat on Periscope each Friday afternoon. I don’t know anything about Periscope, so feel free to laugh out loud at whatever ridiculousness might happen over there. I think I’ve filmed two Periscopes in my lifetime.
As we get ready for our first conversation about the book, tell me what you hope we’ll cover as we read the book together. Have you already read the book? What questions do you have in advance? If we could all get together in one place, what themes from the book would you hope we’d talk about? What were some of the most difficult parts of the book for you? What parts of the book gave you hope? And, be sure to visit The Red Couch’s introductory post today.
I have this book on hold and hope it will be available once I am back from my trip. I will jump in to the discussion then. I am looking forward to being stretched. I finished reading Just Mercy and have been moved to action…not just thinking about it. Not exactly sure what it looks like, but am moving forward nonetheless. THANKS, Deidra!
Yes, thank you for doing this because I never would have read the book without your push. I also encourage everyone to watch last week’s episode of “Black-ish,” the one titled “Hope,”in which the book plays a prominent role.
Great episode. Love that show. Want to read this book – and don’t want to. Maybe this would be a safe place. I’m so fearful of this subject matter. Talk me in to it. 🙂
this will be the safe place. It is a very hard read. well it was for me as a white woman. But this needs to be talked about and Deidra , to me is a very safe place, who knows, who really knows what this is about and will help us (me) process all this. PLEASE read and join.
thank you for sharing about Blackish…I will go find it to watch.
So much to learn. I’ll be listening more than talking, but I’m here.
I skipped it first time at the thrift store and now desperately looking for a copy. I’ll buy if I have to. Looking forward to the discussions that will open up
Very deep. Makes me pensive. Loving the “body” theme throughout the book, gives me a new appreciation of what my “body” has weathered for the past 48.5 years…
I finished it this week. Powerful book that needs to be widely read. My question from it is: what do we do now? I’m looking forward to the discussions here and on Facebook. This is important stuff.
Just finished reading the book. It was a heartbreaking read–I’m praying that God will show me what I am to do with what I read, and I’m hoping that this book club will help with that. If we were all in a room together, I’d love to talk about “race is the child of racism” and race as a social construct. I’d love to know what I can do to to dispel the Dream Coates talks about. I’m not sure I came away from the book with much hope, to be honest, so I’d love to talk about hope, too.
Kvossler, can you tell me what page that quote is on? “race is the child of racism.” I want to be sure we talk about it in the weeks ahead. Thanks!
Delina Pryce McPhaull
I hope we’ll talk about:
– the concept of “people who believe they are white.”
-does any of what he says change because he is coming from an atheist perspective?
….and so much more… so much more about how you teach your children to be free and “do” their lives while still instilling awareness and responsibility to stay in the struggle.
Delina, I agree the concept of “people who believe they are white” I need more on this because I think I’m thinking too literally.
Delina Pryce McPhaull
With the understanding that “race” is a social construct, then the only meaning to race is not biological, it’s the meaning that we give to light skin… So, then “people who believe they are white” means people who have bought the idea that their skin color says something meaningful about who they are, their character, their rightful place in society, etc.
Delina, thank you, thank you, for this.
This is the 2nd hardest book I have ever read. The other book, The Hardest Peace was about dying and living fully for Jesus till the end.
But this book slayed me. I don’t even know how to process what I read. So I am looking forward to this discussion. I wonder if Ta-Nehisi (and how do we pronouce his name even) would be different if he knew JESUS? I am guessing he doesn’t from what I read, but as a white woman I am ashamed, angered, aghast and anxious to see if I can do anything to make a difference in racial reconciliation and healing.