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Between the World and Me
Transcript of Between the World and Me
"The art I was coming to love lived in this void, in the not yet knowable, in the pain, in the question. The older poets introduced me to artists who pulled their energy from the void-Bubber Miley, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, C. K. Williams, Carolyn Forche"(50)
This quote asserts the narrator's personhood by going into detail about his influences and idols. One of the greatest ways to give someone character or depth is to discuss their passions and interests.
"By the time I visited those battlefields, I knew that they had been retrofitted as the staging ground for a great deception, and this was my only security, because they could no longer insult me by lying to me"(106)
This quote provides inspiration because it describes how the narrator found comfort in realizing that he was being played by the society around him. With this realization, him and others can be more aware of challenges for African Americans and work to overcome them.
"And it is true that there is something particular about how the Americans who think they are white regard us-something sexual and obscene. We were not enslaved in France. We are not their particular 'problem', nor their national guilt"(127-128)
This quote encourages racial equality because it explains that the root of racial inequality is due to the fact that Americans still associate Africans with historical guilt. Making Americans aware of this subconscious bias, they are less likely to possess it.
"You have never been afraid of people, of rejection, and I have always admired you for this and always been afraid for you because of this"(91-92)
This quote provides inspiration, because it shows that African Americans aren't automatically instilled with fear of the world around them, but it's rather something that results from the environment, and is therefore reversible.
"The fear was there in the extravagant boys of my neighborhood, in their large rings and medallions, their big puffy coats and full-length fur-collared leathers, which was their armor against the world"(14)
This quote challenges stereotypes about blacks because many portray blacks as ruthless, assertive, and savage. Coates contrasts this image by explaining how some materialistic tendencies may be rooted in fear.