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Project HBW on the KU Common Book

Matthew Broussard

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates's critically acclaimed second book and the winner of 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction has been chosen by the University of Kansas as the 2016-2017 common book. The KU Common Book Program is run by the Office of First Year Experience with the goal of creating a diverse strong community and shared academic experience among first year students, faculty and staff.

In that moment the world had become so much smaller and so much bigger.

A new student's response
Brianna Mears, Freshman

I fell in love with this book the moment I opened the first page. Coates' rhetoric and the way he phrases his perspective allows for readers of all backgrounds to see the picture he so delicately, yet powerfully paints. One of the first notable quotes in the book draws attention to this understanding that "race is the child of racism, not the father." This realization helped to color the way I saw the rest of the book and with each excerpt I highlighted, I grew more and more aware of the real world around me.

Living in those exact woods

In response to the epigraph
Logan Hotz, Sophomore

By far the most impactful portion from Coates' book for me was the quote from Richard Wright that was used as the epigraph, and from which Coates draws the title of the book: Between the World and Me. The epigraph so aptly and perfectly describes the book (as epigraphs are meant to do), but it goes beyond the primary theme of a caring father describing his racial experience within the US to his son.

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