Between the World and Me
"There were little white boys with complete collections of football cards, and their only want was a popular girlfriend, and their only worry was poison oak." - Ta-Nehisi Coates, 'Between The World and Me'
In this 152 page letter to his teenage son, Coates shares his experiences of the street, the school and the family and the exhausting job of being a black man in America. Coates is a master at making you understand. It doesn't matter what adjectives you attach to your name - smart, educated, wealthy, worldly, loving, etc the only one that truly matters is that you are black.
I believe this is the most important book on race and race relations published in this decade. You cannot read Coates and then pretend that the march towards racial equality is nearing the finish line. I read and reread this title and listened to Coates read it - which I highly recommend. I gifted this book to my children and their friends. I also recommend reading the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and then moving on to The New Jim Crow by Alexander, Ghettoside by Leovy and Just Mercy by Stevenson. Together, these titles are a convincing canon on the work that still needs to be done.