Powerfully evocative, Coates recalls life of struggle on the edge of chaos, and what is was like to be a young black man in desperate times. Ta Nehisi grew up in 1980s Baltimore when the city was on the verge of chaos: drugs, gangs and the constant threat of violence haunted the young black man's life wherever he went. A boy need to learn the knowledge fast and Coates's father, Paul, was a fine teacher: a Vietnam vet who rolled with the Black Panthers, an old-school disciplinarian, an autodidact who launched a publishing company in his basement dedicated to telling the true history of African civilization. As the father kept his family safe, he also taught his two sons the tactics to survive and make it out, eventually making it to Howard University. THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE is a moving father and son story, about the reality that tests us and the love that saves us.
2016, Coates, 228 pages, paperback