"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Book Review - Dana Chirps

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Book Review - Dana Chirps

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Book Review - Dana Chirps

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates was amongst the handful of books I purchased while doing brand research for a client of mine who focuses on social injustice. Coates wrote this book as a letter to his son, and details how race has played a part in America. He depicts both historical and recent events where innocent black lives were taken. Needless to say, it was very eye-opening. Below are some quotes that stuck out to me, along with my thoughts.

  • "Somewhere out there beyond the firmament, past the asteroid belt, there were other worlds where children did not regularly fear for their bodies. I knew this because there was a large television resting in my living room. In the evenings I would sit before this television bearing witness to the dispatches from this other world. There were little white boys with complete collections of football cards, and their only want was a popular girlfriend  and their only worry was poison oak." Ugh, anybody else have a weakness for children? It pains me to think of any child not having a happy and relatively worry-free childhood. I cringe as I imagine a kid distinguishing the "haves" and the "have nots." It also goes to show how a child of another race or nationality can feel separation and/or isolation quite early on in their life. They're just kids.
  • "Hate gives identity. The nigger, the fag, the bitch illuminate the border, illuminate ostensibly what we are not, illuminate the Dream of being white, of being a Man. We name the hated strangers and thus are confirmed in the tribe." This quote still has my brain swirling. I honestly am not ready to address this quote, but I wanted to share it as it is powerful.
  • “Black is beautiful – which is to say that the black body is beautiful, that black hair must be guarded against the torture of processing and lye, that black skin must be guarded against bleach, that our noses and mouths must be protected against modern surgery. We are all our most beautiful bodies and so must never prostrate before barbarians, must never submit our original self, out one of one, to defiling and plunder.” I do think the world at large is learning to embrace more forms of beauty. I am SO glad, too. I would never want anyone to regard one type of beauty as being superior to another. There is plenty of room for all types.
  • "Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered. I think we would like to kill you ourselves before seeing you killed by the streets that America made." The second sentence in this quote is what really stuck out to me. This was a concept I had never really thought of before prior to reading the book. Can you fathom having a child, and knowing that child is endangered for no other reason than his or her race? What a horrible concept for any parent to have to wrap their heads around.
  • "You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact." I don't think this quote needs much explaining, but I thought it was stated perfectly.

I feel as though this is the kind of book they should read in high schools. It's heavy, and it's uncomfortable - but that is kind of the point. It's the reality of so many people. I encourage anyone who wants to gain perspective on racial injustice to read this book. I'd give this book 3.75/5 stars. 

See what else I've read here and here.

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Brian, You Have It All Wrong.

I realize you wrote this article some time ago, but it wasn't until this morning that I stumbled upon it on my Facebook newsfeed. Brian, you really missed the mark on this one. "It’s amazing how three numbers and a decimal point can single-handedly turn someone into a big, arrogant butthole."

I got news for ya... there are "big, arrogant buttholes" in every sport. But the sport of running very simply put is putting one foot in front of the other as quickly as possible. That's it. It's one of the least popular, least glorified, and least exciting  to watch sports out there. There's no World Series of Running, or a Running Cup, or even a Running Bowl. Those three numbers and a decimal point are all we have.

People run for a huge variety of reasons. To lose weight, because they see a fun looking race and it motivates them to try, because they just like to run, for a new challenge, for the endorphins, etc. In all honesty I have a hard time calling myself a runner because I've only done the total of two races, a full marathon being my first, and a 5k being my second. I signed up for a full marathon to use my adversity as a reason to do something rather than permitting it to stop me, for details on that read here. But I can honestly say I've never heard a runner say that they choose to run to prove they are better than other people, or anything remotely close to that sentiment.

"You're only impressing yourself"

And your point is what exactly? Are we supposed to do these races, wear the tee shirts, and buy the stickers for others? You're kidding me, right? Furthermore, HELL YEA I IMPRESSED THE SHIT OUT OF MYSELF WHEN I RAN 26.2 MILES!

You seem to be primarily calling out the long distance bumper stickers (13.1+ races). Long distance running is an animal. The amount of time you sacrifice to train, the kind of physical pain you feel after you start running 15+ miles, and the mental battle of putting one foot in front of another when you want nothing more than to stop is what makes long distance running special. And, well, completely crazy. But this is what unites everyone that has ever done a long distance race. Those bumper stickers are more than a tiny tangible piece of accomplishment - it's a way for other runners to identify each other, and to say they understand the glory of crossing the finish line, as they know what it took to get there.

The fact that you think those with those bumpers stickers make themselves "look like an ass," tells me just how unexposed and ignorant you are to this sport.

But you know what, let me offer this to you: Let me show you just how awesome the running community is, and how phenomenal long distance running is. Brian, I'm challenging you to choose a long distance race, whatever distance you want, whatever race you want. In turn, I will sign up and virtually train with you. My marathon was back in 2012, and I haven't regularly run since, so we are likely to be starting a similar point. I want to introduce you to a world that you know nothing about. If you stick with it, I can guarantee you won't regret it. I'll even pay for your registration.

While I wait for your answer, I'm going to buy a sticker that says 26.2 because you just reminded me how proud I am of that feat, and even more proud that I can call myself a runner.

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2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.