Excerpt from Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates X
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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    Jul 2015, 160 pages

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I heard the fear in the first music I ever knew, the music that pumped from boom boxes full of grand boast and bluster. The boys who stood out on Garrison and Liberty up on Park Heights loved this music because it told them, against all evidence and odds, that they were masters of their own lives, their own streets, and their own bodies. I saw it in the girls, in their loud laughter, in their gilded bamboo earrings that announced their names thrice over. And I saw it in their brutal language and hard gaze, how they would cut you with their eyes and destroy you with their words for the sin of playing too much. "Keep my name out your mouth," they would say. I would watch them after school, how they squared off like boxers, vas­elined up, earrings off, Reeboks on, and leaped at each other.

Excerpted from Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Copyright © 2015 by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Excerpted by permission of Spiegel & Grau. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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