Between the World and Me

30 Jan 2018

A letter from a father to his son, Between the World and Me is something that got inside my brain. I had a lot of thoughts while reading this, mostly around trying to comprehend the reality of how different life can be. There is much to say, most of it feels cliche or naive. I've come to the conclusion that I can have knowledge about certain things but never truly feel them. Empathy can only extend so far when the fabric of society dictates so much of our unconscious perceptions.

This is a letter from a black man to his black son. An American man from Baltimore. A world I can speak about, a culture I can hear and see and conceptualize. But not something I can internalize. I can hear the things, say the things, but my gut can't really go there. And I think that is important to know. It is important to not have a false sense of understanding. Some questions are not purely about the right answers.

The Dream thrives on generalization, on limiting the number of possible questions, on privileging immediate answers.

The world I grew up in shaped me. I've seen some things, done some things, but at the end of the day I by virtue of who I was born have been presented with a different world than others.

It is truly horrible to understand yourself as the essential below of your country.

It isn't really about me versus someone else or how I feel about my life. This book made me just try to get at some of the interesting facets of what it means to examine one's self and one's culture. What it means to seek knowledge and understanding. But also to grasp that some things are not that different if we are willing to look beyond what is easy to see.

You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact.

I highly recommend this book. I think if you let your guard down, let the emotion and poetic imagery inside you, you can find something new about the world around you.

the Dreamers are quoting Martin Luther King and exulting nonviolence for the weak and the biggest guns for the strong.

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