Look at our news media. Print, digital, video, audio, all of it. Black and brown men and women and children are dying. When that death can't be directly attributed to white people and a judicial system set up to benefit us (because I speak as a white person), it can too often be traced back to the violence of poverty and an education system that denies the full humanity of those who don't fit society's narrowly defined mold of acceptability.

And that's not a new thing.

This book doesn't have answers. Coates himself suggests at least once that sometimes the searching and trying themselves are the real goal. But the history matters. Hearing it, reading it, seeing it. In rich, dense prose, Coates is offering us a view into his lived reality. That view is a gift. I urge you strongly to accept it, if you haven't already.