Literary and Cultural References
Coates mentions many different works of literature in Between the World and Me. The title derives from the Richard Wright poem of the same name, which serves as the epigraph of the book. Coates also includes an epigraph for each of the three sections of the book: the first from Sonia Sanchez, a famous poet; the second from prominent black poet and scholar Amiri Baraka; and the third from James Baldwin, author of Giovanni's Room. Coates mentions many other writers: Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Saul Bellow, Tolstoy, Robert Hayden, C. K. Williams, Carolyn Forché, Truman Capote, and Malcolm X, among others.
As a great music lover and longtime fan of rap and hip-hop, Coates refers to the music of Nas, Ice Cube, Otis Redding, Biggie Smalls, and the Wu-Tang Clan, among others. He sees Hayao Miyazaki's animated film Howl's Moving Castle with his son. One day, he reads of his friend Prince Jones's murder in
(The entire section is 620 words.)