Where does the title of Between the World and Me come from?
Ta-Nehisi Coates borrowed the title of his memoir from the poem “Between the World and Me" by influential black author Richard Wright, who was born in Mississippi and later became a French citizen. The poem recounts the speaker’s experience of coming across the remains of a lynching while walking in the woods. Wright writes, “And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting themselves between the world and me. . . .” Coates includes the poem’s first stanza as an epigraph to his memoir.