CIE Text Sparks Conversations Across Ursinus

Ursinus faculty and administrators took time during MLK Week to reflect on Between the World and Me, the book by Ta-Nehisi Coates read by first-year students during their first semester of the Common Intellectual Experience.

The discussion was one of many programs designed to spark inquiry and reflection during MLK Week.

“It’s a perfect text for first-year students to read,” said Danielle Widmann Abraham, a CIE instructor.

Told through a letter written by the author to his son, Between the World and Me poses questions surrounding what it means to be black in America today. “The book allows the reader to enter this intimate space as Coates reflects on his experiences with racism and white supremacy,” Widmann Abraham said.

Questions such as, “What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it?” challenge students to reflect on “what we’ve been taught to think about society, what it means to dream and who gets to live in the dream,” she said.

“The alienation he chronicles is very real,” Widmann Abraham said.  

MLK Week continues with lightning talks, film screenings, music and discussions throughout the week. —By Ed Moorhouse