The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates (5 out of 5)
There was no beautiful struggle to finish this book. Most know Coates because of his award-winning, best-selling book “Between The World And Me”. Until my former bookeague (book colleague) Greg recommended it, I hadn’t heard of it. I am way behind on reading books of actual beauty. I’m too busy reading all sorts of alarming literature, classics mirroring our current world state madness, celebrity memoirs, music biographies, idiosyncratic fiction, etc. “Between The World And Me” is a book I read two years ago and loved. It should have occurred to me to see if he had written anything else. Hindsight is 20/20 in a world of 60/40.
Our primary focus here is Paul Coates, Vietnam vet, Black Panther, unequivocal vocalist of free love, publisher, and father (and hero) to his seven kids. He tries his best to carry on in the wayward inner city streets of Baltimore when the crack epidemic has begun to take over the area. His two boys, Ta-Nehisi and Big Bill, give him the biggest concerns of all. What follows in this slim volume of memories is his story of trying to make his boys adjust their very distinct and individual personalities to navigate life in a neighborhood once thought of as home and quickly eroding into a dark and unsafe haven. The language within and the love emanating from the pages, of a man trying to keep peace and light in this world while facing reality head on, is infectious. Paul Coates is a man more should know about. Now, thanks to his son, we are lucky enough to.