There is very little I can say about this book. It’s a letter from father to son, an unfolding of personal experience regarding discrimination and the arbitrary line of racial division. This personal narrative grows into something more, an enclosed experience as representative of a collective experience. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful, devastating and so very important, the sort of book that I hope gets read widely, especially in this day and age when so many more arbitrary divider lines are being drawn the sand of our country.
There is very little I can say, because I’ve had my own personal experiences, some of which were mirrored in this book, and some of which land squarely outside that narrative owing to the privileges of my skin, and despite/because of those personal experiences, my own narrative is unimportant. How I related to this book is individual and unique, just as I imagine every reader of this book would have an individual, unique relationship to the words within. I don’t do well examining books from the outside, because I experience them from within, and to approach from my own place feels, in this case, subtracting from the power of the book. It’s like the “all lives matter” response to the black lives matter movement – sure, all lives do matter, but that’s not the point, and if you don’t get that, you’re missing something entirely.
And if you are missing something entirely, please read this book, and perhaps you’ll start to understand. And maybe if we all start to understand, we – as a collective whole – can start to change. And maybe one day, we can all start erasing the arbitrary lines in the sand.
Your review only confirms that I really, really need to make this one a priority this year.
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