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The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir Paperback – January 6, 2009
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*Starred Review* Coates grew up in a tough Baltimore neighborhood, subject to the same temptations as other young black boys. But he had a father in the household, a man steeped in race consciousness and willing to go to any lengths—including beatings—to keep his sons on the right path. With sharp cultural observations and emotional depth, Coates recalls an adolescence of surreptitiously standing on corners eying girls, drinking fifths, and earning reps, mindful of his father’s admonition about the Knowledge. Central to the Knowledge was the need to confront fears and bullies and beat them in order to live in peace. For a while, his own style was to “talk and duck”; later he found places to be himself in African drumming and writing. The Knowledge focused on alternative paths for race-conscious black men, respectful of the broader culture, but always a bit on the margins. His father had balanced his own life between square jobs and a black book publishing enterprise. As Coates grew up, he replaced his comic books with his father’s collection of classic literature on the race struggle and found his own way. A beautifully written, loving portrait of a strong father bringing his sons to manhood. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Ta-Nehisi Coates is the young James Joyce of the hip-hop generation.”
“Haunting and healing . . . a splendid memoir” —Essence
“A brilliant coming-of-age story.” —People
“A remarkable, blunt portrait of an adolescence filled with danger, chaos, flaws, and tragedy . . . a love story, dispatched from the front lines of a family.”
—Time Out New York
“A searing and soulful memoir.”
—Michael Eric Dyson, author of April 4, 1968