Between the World and Me Test | Final Test - Hard

Ta-Nehisi Coates
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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. Who took care of the author's son while his mother was away?

2. What hope does the author have for his son?

3. Who was Abraham Brian?

4. According to senator John C. Calhoun, "The two great divisions of society are not the rich and the poor, but _____" what?

5. To where did the mother of the author's son travel when she turned 30?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the death of the boy on page 112 (Jordan Davis) reinforce the author's theory that the "Dream" is dangerous?

2. What reasons does the author give for the anger of the man who was having his home repossessed?

3. How does the author contrast black and white societies?

4. How, does Coats write, have his eyes been damaged by what he has seen?

5. What is the significance of the author's description of the slave burial plot in southern Manhattan?

6. How does the author compare the flight of Abraham Brian to the fear of the modern black man?

7. According to the author, how do the behaviors of police departments reflect American values?

8. How did the author's trip to Paris affect his view of what it means to live in a black body?

9. What lesson does the mother of the boy on page 112 (Lucia McBath) try to impart to the author's son?

10. What reasons does the author give for Prince Jones' behavior prior to his death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author was not raised in a religious family, nor did he develop an interest in subscribing to a personal religion or spirituality as an adult. How might his completely academic nature conflict with the traditional religious views of the black community? How might his spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, affect the tone of his writing? How might a traditionally religious black community react to such a tone?

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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