Tag Archives: Systemic racism

Between the World and Me: Ta-Nehisi Coates on structural racism in America

MSNBC, November 19, 2020

Craig Melvin interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates on his book and the new HBO film

[Editor: Ta-Nehisi Coates offers profound insight on race in America and the far-reaching effect of Trumpism.  The first two minutes of the interview are mostly about his important book and the new film.  Tune in after 2 minutes for his commentary on racism.  – R.S.]


THE BOOK (See also THE FILM, below)

Between the World and Me is available at Bookshop Benicia (or Amazon, of course).

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH”

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race” (Rolling Stone)

Reviewed by Dani Lacey
This is a book black people need to read. This is a book white people need to read. This is a book that anyone who calls themselves “American” needs to read….This is a book that describes the history of our nation and — in a way — the history of the world. This is a book that tells one man’s story of how he achieved his social consciousness the impact that had on how he viewed himself….The book is crafted as a letter to his son, making it a more intimate and personal journey. That intimacy and humanization extends beyond Coates to the victims and survivors of racism….He is not optimistic, but he’s not a cynic, either. I was worried that this book would leave me feeling sad, angry, hurt. Instead, I feel strangely proud. He sees where we fail as a nation, but points out how black people have and will continue to survive as a people. And he calls on those who have benefited from America’s systemic racism to do better or face their own future downfall.


THE FILM – on HBO Saturday, November 21

Between The World And Me, 1 EPISODE|1 HR 20 MIN
AVAILABLE SAT, NOV 21 AT 5:00PM PT ON HBO AND HBO MAX
SEE THE TRAILER, far below…

Between The World And Me, based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ #1 New York Times bestselling account, is coming to HBO as a special event.

First published in 2015, Between The World And Me was written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son, and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ bold notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.

Based on the 2018 adaptation and staging of the book at the Apollo Theater, the HBO Special will combine elements of the Apollo’s production, including powerful readings from Coates’ book, and incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation. It will include appearances by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Angela Davis, Alicia Garza, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Jharrel Jerome, Mimi Jones, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Ledisi, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Joe Morton, Wendell Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Greg Alverez Reid, Mj Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi, Nate Smith, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Olivia Washington, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michelle Wilson and Oprah Winfrey.

Between The World And Me will be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes, who also serves as an executive producer alongside Coates and Susan Kelechi Watson. Roger Ross Williams and his production company One Story Up will produce.

“A seminal piece of literature that has pushed crucial conversations around our country and racism to the forefront of our cultural conversation.”  — ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS

Watch the Trailer