Feb 19, 2019
Between the World and Me – Prewriting Two
The fear that Coates was exposed to while he was growing up a small boy was to prevent his from following a path of drugs and violence. His parents were afraid he would be kidnapped and killed if he was to leave the site of his parents so his parents disciplined him so he wouldn’t run off “I slipped from their gaze and found a playground. Your grandparents spent anxious minutes looking for me. When they found me, Dad did what every parent I knew would have done – he reached for his belt. I remember watching him in a kind of daze, awed at the distance between punishment and offense.” ( pp. 16)The beatings he got as a child were meant to teach him not to run off, they weren’t meant to protect Coates, they were meant to keep him going in a straight line his father said, “Either I can beat him, or the police.” (pp, 16) This leads us to believe that back in Coats youth America was still transitioning from heavy segregation and suppuration, Coates father may have been mistaking beating Coates into a great man and teaching Coates to be a great man with words of wisdom. I can see Coates father’s logic behind his physical lessons though, Coates father was thinking if I show him the beginning of the physical pain that will be caused if he is a bad boy he won’t want to be a bad boy. In some households, this has been seen to drive the children away from their families and out of the house, but it seemed to work for Coates.
The experiences Coates son might experience in a neighborhood now may be very similar to what might have happened back when Coates was a young fellow growing up. You may not find some of the gangs and territories today, obviously, they still exist but in smaller numbers, they aren’t nearly as big as they might have been back then. Today Coates son will experience “… what it means to grow up with a black president, social networks, omnipresent media, and black woman everywhere in their natural hair.” Back when Coates was growing up no one had social media, no one would have even considered electing a black president and black woman wouldn’t have wanted to be seen within their natural hair.