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The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Walter Mosley says Coates is “the James Joyce of the hip hop generation”. This lyrical writer fills a void in the African American literary pantheon with a gorgeously written, poetry-laced exploration of the father-son connection. His description of the daisy age of hip-hop (1988) when black children begged for Technic turntables, an MPC sampler, and some Chuck D will connect with many readers.

Dad was a Vietnam vet who often rolled with the Black Panthers. An old-school disciplinarian (he was willing to dispense beatings to keep his kids on the right path), Paul Coates provided a bulwark against the 80’s crack wars looming near his bookish, dreamy kid in a disintegrating section of Baltimore. He also manages to navigate his sons from urban blight toward and through Howard University - as a single father. Ta-Nehisi grows up to become a staff writer for the Village Voice and Time, conjuring the struggle of the streets and a compelling familial love story into this beautiful debut that crackles with eloquence and lingers in the ear. Check catalog for availability.

- Submitted by Jane @ Martin Luther King Library

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