Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’ Is as Important and Necessary as Everyone Says It Is

Ta-Nehisi Coates. Photograph by Nina Subin. Courtesy of Spiegel and Grau

One night last week I was driving to my mother's home in the central Cincinnati neighborhood of Bond Hill. I had the windows of her bright orange Volkswagen Beetle down, and was stopped on Bond Hill's main drag, Reading Road, where the pockmarks of shuttered storefronts and crumbling housing are evident from every vantage point. On many a night, seemingly aimless, unemployed negro boys sit and carp near a...

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