The Beautiful Struggle

January 6, 2009

The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Paul Coates was an enigmatic god to his sons: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian and new-age believer in free love, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. Most of all, he was a wily tactician whose mission was to carry his sons across the shoals of inner-city adolescence -- and through the collapsing civilization of Baltimore in the Age of Crack -- and into the safe arms of Howard University, where he worked so his children could attend for free.

 

Among his brood of seven, his main challenges were Ta-Nehisi, spacey and sensitive and almost comically miscalibrated for his environment, and Big Bill, charismatic and all-too-ready for the challenges of the streets. The Beautiful Struggle follows their divergent paths through this period, and their father's efforts -- assisted by mothers, teachers, and a body of myths, histories, and rituals conjured from the past to meet the needs of a troubled present -- to keep them whole in a world that seemed bent on their destruction.

 

- adapted and revised from publisher

 

For the record, I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking book titles to Amazon. If you click a book title or cover and buy a book (you don't pay extra) I earn a small commission.

 

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