One Book, One Community

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


New York Times

 Bestseller, National Book Award Winner, ALA Alex Award



“I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.”  
-  Ta-Nehisi Coates 


Why a One Book, One Community read?


Ever since Seattle started the trend in 1998, the phenomenon of One Book, One Community reading programs has been growing steadily across the country. The Safety Harbor Library Advisory Committee and the Library believe now is a good time to start a conversation. 

“The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.”
— Mary McGrory, The Washington Post, 2002.

Book Discussions


Stay tuned to this page, Facebook, Instagram, and Safety Harbor Connect, for updates on Zoom book discussions. 

Between the World and Me cover
  1. About the Book
  2. About the Author
  3. Discussion Questions
  4. Author Videos

Coates-Quote
In a profound work that pivots from the most pressing questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of an African American father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s painful racial history and our current civil rights crisis. Americans have built an entire society on the idea of “race,” a false construct whose ramifications damage us, but fall most heavily on the bodies of black women and men— bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion to their number in the population. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions, in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in American culture through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken far too soon, as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
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