Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Coates says that it took him a while to realize how different his family was. They boycotted Thanksgiving, and fasted instead. Most of his friends were fatherless, around him the young were getting locked up, dying of gunshots, and crack brought the end of the world. His father’s Afrocentric publishing business succeeded somewhat, but he also did what he had to, including beekeeping. He held on to jobs as a janitor at Morgan State, a black college, and as a research librarian at Howard University, some ways away in Washington, D.C., just so his children could have free tuition. “What did I know, what did I know/of love’s austere and lonely offices?” Robert Hayden asks himself in his poem about his father, “Those Winter Sundays.” But Coates dedicates The Beautiful Struggle to his mother. His father had a few children by other women. One year he became a father by two women at the same time.