Black Bodies Matter

During an eventful appearance at Boston College a while back, Ta-Nehisi Coates told the story of why he wrote the bestseller Between the World and Me. It is a slim volume—a meditation on what it means to be Black in America, framed as a letter to Coates’s 15-year-old son, Samori. Throughout the long evening, his tone was passionate but conversational, with not a whiff of preachiness. “The kind of oppression that black people feel in this country is very, very physical. It’s about people taking possession of your body.”

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