Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The photo I used is not the actual book cover, but rather a poster design by a student in an illustration course at California State University, Northridge. Because of my crazy need to make our book list like a family photo album, I didn’t want to use the actual black and white cover with printed title.

(Book 134) What a glorious night we had on Melissa’s rooftop. It felt a bit like sky-sailing as the “sails” that protected us from the bright sun (as it made its way to the horizon) flapped in the breeze. I told Melissa how close she was to having me as a rooftop guest for the night, and in her usual accommodating fashion she offered blankets.

Food First: We started with a wonderful crab dip for which she offered both toast and pita. There were grapes, cut melon and pineapple as well. The main course included ribs, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, and a lovely abundance of both salad and slaw. Melissa made a delicious peach cobbler for dessert. I think I’m in the process of giving up on delicious synonyms for all the food my book pals serve, because they don’t fool around. It’s all very good. Linda complimented the slaw and was awarded a portion to take home!

The Book: Like most of the reading world, we praised the book. It is a heart-breaking read. Chris and Linda both noted that it leaves so little room for hope, and Chris compared it to Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Baldwin writes to a nephew and Coates to his son, but both are preparing the young men for the world they will find ahead of them. Chris felt that Baldwin offers more hope and possibility. I suggested that in the years that have passed since Balwin’s writing, Coates hasn’t seen the evidence to support reason for hope, and Susan countered that George Floyd’s killer is in jail. But we all know that’s not enough. We discussed that Melissa is the only one among us who has black friends and I bemoaned the fact that whenever I am friendly to a person of color, I am incredibly self-conscious and I fear that . . . and here Sharon helped hit the nail on the head. . . that I’m patronizing. As Linda noted, we would all sincerely wish not to be seen as the collective white enemy even if we may all need some guidance as to how to achieve that. I added that the book is touched by a grief to which every parent can relate; when he speaks of Prince’s death, he lists all that was wasted, all the effort a parent puts into rearing a child, all the applications, vacations, choices, bedtime stories, summer camps — why did we do all that when someone was just going to senselessly kill him? The book is well worth the read.

My apologies for all that I left out. I will add some photos if I can get my phone back from my grandson. He has his own, but mine doesn’t have a parental lock on YouTube. Better go do that quick.

The view to the southeast.
The sails in the view to the northwest and Chris contemplating
whether she can sneak this dog out in her purse.
Mary, the GREAT great-aunt, showing off her light up jewelry.