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Between the World and Me Summary & Analysis
by Richard Wright

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The American writer Richard Wright first published "Between the World and Me" in The Partisan Review in 1935. While walking through the woods, the poem's speaker stumbles across the remains of a Black person who was brutally murdered by a racist mob. The gruesome details of the scene "thrust[]" themselves "between" the speaker and the rest of the world, creating a barrier of intense, icy fear. As the poem goes on, the speaker becomes the victim himself, narrating the murder from a first-person perspective that viscerally illustrates the dehumanizing horror of racist violence. The contemporary writer Ta-Nehisi Coates borrowed the poem's title for his bestselling nonfiction book of the same name.

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