HBO Max making Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me special free this weekend
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection — perhaps even more so this year than usual. At the most basic level, the holiday asks participants to think about things in their life that they are grateful for; at another level, Thanksgiving inspires one to think about American history, and how it's all a little darker than you were led to believe when drawing turkeys and pilgrims as a kid. Those inclined to the latter mode of Thanksgiving thought should know that HBO Max is making their Between the World and Me special free to stream from Nov. 25-30.
Adapted from the book of the same name by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me explores a wide swath of the Black experience in America, from police violence and other forms of oppression to the ways in which Black identity celebrates joy. Coates' book was written as an open letter to his young son, and the TV special retains that intimacy by breaking it down into a series of monologues performed by very big names: Oprah Winfrey, Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Yara Shahidi, Joe Morton, and Phylicia Rashad, as well as activists such as Angela Davis and Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza.
HBO Max is also in the midst of releasing a four-part companion podcast about Between the World and Me, featuring conversations both with people who appear in the special and others, such as visual artists and representatives from The Apollo Theater, The Kennedy Center, Howard University, and the Schwarzman Center at Yale University.