Between the World and Me

Prince Jones Character Analysis

Prince Jones is a classmate of Ta-Nehisi and Kenyatta at Howard. The son of Dr. Mabel Jones, he attends private schools as a boy and excels at his studies. At Howard, he is known as a warm, generous, and beloved person; he is also a born-again Christian. At 25, he is killed by an officer from the Prince George’s County police, leaving behind a fiancée and baby daughter.

Prince Jones Quotes in Between the World and Me

The Between the World and Me quotes below are all either spoken by Prince Jones or refer to Prince Jones. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Spiegel & Grau edition of Between the World and Me published in 2015.
Part 2 Quotes

I have always felt great distance from the grieving rituals of my people, and I must have felt it powerfully then. The need to forgive the officer would not have moved me, because even then, in some inchoate form, I knew that Prince was not killed by a single officer so much as he was murdered by his country and all the fears that have marked it from birth.

Related Characters: Ta-Nehisi Coates (speaker), Prince Jones
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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Prince Jones Character Timeline in Between the World and Me

The timeline below shows where the character Prince Jones appears in Between the World and Me. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Youth, Education, and Growth Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
...I expect to think every day for the rest of my life.” This boy is Prince Jones and, because he is killed young, he comes to feel like an “invention” rather... (full context)
Part 2
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Black Bodies Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Youth, Education, and Growth Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
Not long before Samori’s birth, Coates was pulled over by the Prince George’s County police. Coates is terrified, recalling the fact that the PG County police killed... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Black Bodies Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
Coates and Kenyatta travel to Howard for Prince’s memorial, where people speak of Prince’s deep religiosity, and some ask for forgiveness for the... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Weeks pass, and it is revealed that the officer who killed Prince is known to be dishonest and incompetent, and that the man he was pursuing when... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Youth, Education, and Growth Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
The death of Prince Jones leads Coates to better understand why his own father, Paul, beat him as a... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
...the towers burn and feels “cold,” plagued by his own tragedies, including the death of Prince Jones. He feels “out of sync with the city,” reminded of the fact that the... (full context)
Part 3
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Black Bodies Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Youth, Education, and Growth Theme Icon
Coates often thinks of the family members who were left behind after Prince Jones’ death. Prince’s fiancée was pregnant, and his daughter thus grew up never knowing her... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Youth, Education, and Growth Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
...refuses to “acknowledge any discomfort” or admit that her story is “remarkable.” Coates asks about Prince’s childhood, and Dr. Jones tells him whimsical stories about things Prince did. Prince attended private... (full context)
African-American Family and Heritage Theme Icon
Black Bodies Theme Icon
Captivity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Myth vs. Reality Theme Icon
...of emotion. Coates is struck by the intensity of Dr. Jones’ control over herself. When Prince died, she didn’t cry, because “composure was too important.” However, she tells Coates that she... (full context)