The Most Important Book I Read This Summer
Mark Suster

I sincerely don’t mean to lecture but please understand that Coates’ book is the reflection of one black man. There are many, many stories of black men and women that are never told and are never sought for “understanding”.

I have raised bi-racial children, been married to the same man for well over fifty years and married him during a time when our alliance and love for one another was illegal in many, many states. Our son felt safer in Sweden when he played in the Gothia Cup than he did on the streets of our Southern California suburbs. Our youngest attended high school with Kevin Costner’s kids nd Haley Joel Osment and yet her journey through an Ivy League Medical School and Chairman of a medical school organization did not protect her from being asked by a phalanx of old white men “what are you doing here?”, and therein lies the unexplored journeys of bi-racial, middle class blacks, still judged as a color before the “content of their character” could ever be determined.

Perhaps what I’m trying to convey is — though you were moved by Coates’ life experience I would venture that you have no more persons of color that you invite into your home or your hearts, except tangentially? I have written often about the plight of poor whites, that their experiences have made them invisible and yet I, a fully functioning black woman cannot claim that their lives are any easier to live than any black person’s life.

We all struggle and our collective black past, as a point in history, can be used to strengthen our resolve to live lives of our choosing or damn us to anger and being disastrously ineffective at living. As a black mother, I feel that Coates’ has ill equipped his son for the possibility that he can live a decent and fulfilling life in these United States. To be sure the simmering, not totally hidden racism that has gained momentum once gain because of Mr. Trump is something that we all must rise to combat.

There was an unstated complacency about your reactions to Coates’ tome. No call to action can be observed just a desire to ‘read’ about the plights of others and clearly no intention of seeking ways to help end the schism, the divide that exists in the hearts of too many Americans. Blacks too are racists and not just against white folks but also within our own vagaries.

One day, far, far into the future there will be a day when people will just stop judging one another and accept that all human beings deserve respect acceptance until proven otherwise!

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