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In his acceptance speech at last night’s National Book Awards—where his Between the World and Me won the nonfiction prize—Ta-Nehisi Coates dedicated the award to his friend Prince Jones, who was pursued and killed by a police officer who mistook him for a criminal.

coatescover1Coates went on to say this about the book, which is structured as a letter to his son:

I’m a black man in America. I can’t punish that officer; Between the World and Me comes out of that place. I can’t secure the safety of my son. I just don’t have that power. But what I do have the power to do is say, ‘You won’t enroll me in this lie. You won’t make me part of it.’

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

And his first story about the killing of Jones is here.

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