Between The World And Me By Ta-Nehisi Coates Argument About Black Identity In History

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Coates’ Argument about Black Identity in History “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage” (103). The novel, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a book that capitalizes on the identity black males but also the lives of all black Americans. Coates uses this book to describe his journey and concern for his son growing up in America. He fears for his African-American son or any African-American male that will have to grow up in America the way it is today. Coates’s experiences and sense of urgency for his son’s safety and well being allows the reader to see the severity of Black History then and the urgency that is needed now. He discusses how African-American …show more content…
Coates discusses a lot about the history of black identity in: segregation, violence, black disenfranchisement, and the black community all which led him to say the most controversial line in the novel. Coates states, “They made us a race. We made ourselves into a people” (149). This statement allows the reader to question what this statement means and to determine if there is any truth to it. When trying to understand what Coates means from that arresting phrase one must break down the quote into two parts. The first part of the quote, “They made us a race.” which consists of mentioning an unknown being that was said to make the African-American people into a race, separate from the race of “they”. At first glance, this quote may seem a bit ambiguous and confusing, but as Coates continues his explanation, it allows the reader to come to a better understanding of what he is conveying. Coates states, “naming ‘the people’ has never been a matter of genealogy or physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy” (11). When Coates states this he is allowing the reader to slowly begin to see his view of the division here in America. He wants the reader to understand that this division did not come from a family’s descent or appearance, it came from something …show more content…
When Coates states this he is allowing the reader to understand that, although the African-American race did not have a say in the division, they still refused to let that hinder them. Although African-Americans were dealt a poor had they still worked with what they had to make themselves in a group of people. This quote allows the reader to understand the power of resilience in the African-American community. Although they were divided from the other races they came together as one to create their own culture. To do this Coates believes the African-Americans must struggle, “The struggle is really all I have for you because it is the only portion of this world under your control” (48). Coates states this is in the middle of listing all the things he cannot do or control when he realizes the only thing he has to offer the future African-Americans is the control of their struggle. The African-American community knows it cannot control being separated into different races. They know they cannot control the fact that African-American males will always be a target. What they can control is the fact that they get to decide how much they will endure. This control they have allows them to begin to shape that they want to be as a whole. It allows them to slowly begin putting themselves into a people. Coates also describes “they” as the Dreamers. Dreamers are explained to be the white people living in

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