Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Beautiful Struggle

I've been in the tank for Ta-Nehisi Coates since the first time I read his blog a few months ago. In addition to bringing a strong voice new voice to the Blogosphere, TC is the only blogger (that I'm aware of) that has seen fit to bless me with a link. I hold tight to that link as a soup├žon of legitimacy for my blogging. Herr Coates just published his first book earlier this year, The Beautiful Struggle and I finally got a chance to read it.

I'm gonna try not to get too caught up in a bunch of superlatives here, but the book is damn good. Even though I'm a few years older than TC and we had vastly different upbringings, I knew that as a Black man and an aspiring writer this book was going to have something to say to me. I read the book in two sittings; after I woke up from a nap today I read the first half while enjoying a couple of hours home alone and then after I put BabyRat to bed I finished it off. I think the last book I devoured like this was the Godfather.

What struck me about this book was that it seems like a spiritual companion to so many other great coming of age stories, both real and fictional. Even though I want every Black man and boy in America to read this book, I hope that others who didn't grow up Black or in an urban environment will read this book and find some reflection of themselves and their life in TC's words.