I have had an incomplete sense of how difficult it must be to be a black male in America, of course, since I am Caucasian. We throw black males into jail at a rate much higher than white males. It truly does seem to be a continuation of the suppression we have exerted over the black population in this country.
Reading the book gave me an even deeper sense of the fear and desperation that blacks experience in this country. Racism is far from dead in America, sadly.
Coates gives voice to the fear and anger that blacks experience today. It is very difficult to "walk in their shoes". I know that I enjoy a tremendous advantage by simply being a Caucasian in this country. I do take it for granted, but I will try to do better.
I think this book should be required reading for racists everywhere. Maybe required reading in schools, but we just don't seem to be too able to honestly face difficult issues in this country.
There's a good review of this book in the New York Times.