Get Ready for HBO’s Adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Between the World and Me’

Lloyd Bishop/NBC

Amid international protests triggered by decades of police brutality, HBO has decided to adapt author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award-winning book, Between the World and Me. 

Between the World and Me was released to critical acclaim in 2015. The autobiography earned the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was subsequently honored with a 2016 Pulitzer Prize nomination.

The book explores the dynamics of race relations with enumerations of Coates’ experiences as a young Black man. Through the story’s astute (and often existential) examinations of institutionalized racism and police brutality, Coates’ earned much-deserved praise as both an author and a scholar. The highest recognition came from famed author Toni Morrison, who hailed Coates the successor of James Baldwin.

The HBO adaptation, which is scheduled for a special release this fall, will be directed by Apollo Theater Executive Kamilah Forbes. Ensuring the truthfulness of the adaptation, Coates will be producing the program alongside This is Us actress Susan Kelechi Watson.

HBO’s adaptation of Coates’ text will not be a strict biopic of the author. The network will be taking inspiration from a 2018 stage adaptation of the book and will include dramatic readings, archival and documentary footage, as well as some animated sequences.

Between the World and Me has started many critical conversations regarding the institutions that support white supremacy. It has provided many readers with intellectual and emotional solidarity (whilst opening other readers’ eyes to the stifling power of systemic injustices). By bringing Between the World and Me to television, hopefully, HBO and Coates can start an even larger conversation about the need for systemic change.