Between the World and Me Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ta-Nehisi Coates
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 164 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What view does the author have of the afterlife?

2. According to the author, what is the purpose of defining races of people?

3. What did the author find unique about Howard University?

4. What is "The Mecca" that the author describes to his son?

5. According to the author, there is no difference between his son and which murdered 17-year-old?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to the author, how have American police departments been given the right to destroy black bodies without the fear of recrimination?

2. What conflicting thoughts does the author have about the civil rights movement of the 1960s?

3. According to the author, what is the purpose of the public school system?

4. What does the author mean when he says the school system and the streets are "two arms of the same beast"?

5. What role did religion play in the author's childhood?

6. According to the author, why is America blind to it's racially defined shortcomings?

7. What does the author mean when he asks: "How do I live free in this black body?"

8. For what reasons did the author's father punish him and why?

9. What assumptions does the author make about PG County (Prince George's County) police officers and why?

10. How important were books to the author as he was growing up?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout history, defining oneself as Black was a matter of both appearance as well as culture. There were people who chose to define themselves as White/Caucasian as a means of improving their social status. Describe how the author defines “blackness” in current American society. How did his experiences with other people, such as the girl from California who had relatives in India, the girl with dreadlocks raised by a Jewish mother, and the Howard professor who was in an open marriage to a white woman affect his view of what it meant to be a Black person?

Essay Topic 2

How does the author compare his experiences with public education to the expectations that society has for black people? What does it mean when he says that “the schools were not concerned with curiosity,” but with “compliance” ? What statement might the author be making about racial injustice in the American school system?

Essay Topic 3

The author spends a great deal of time describing his Mecca, Howard University, as an escape from the fear that once plagued his life as a child on the streets of Baltimore. Keeping in mind that Howard is a private university that not every student can afford, what other Meccas might exist in America that could parallel the author's experience? Are there other places or experiences that could provide a similar bond of safety and community for the black student? If so, what? Is the author's Mecca a physical place or a state of mind? Explain your answer citing examples from the author's work.

(see the answer keys)

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