Between the World and Me

Characters

Samori Coates

Characters Samori Coates

As the recipient of Coates’ letter, Samori is a major character, but the reader has no knowledge of Samori’s thoughts; there are only a couple instances that give insight into Samori’s character. Coates writes the week that the police officer who killed Michael Brown is set free. Coates says that Samori is still young at this time, so he believes that justice will be done. When it isn’t, Samori goes to his room and cries. This is potentially a defining moment of Samori’s life. Coates hints this may have been when Samori first realizes that despite his relatively privileged life, he is still a young black man and this reality will affect how the world treats him.

Coates describes taking Samori to a preschool and Samori immediately running off to play with the other children. He doesn’t fear rejection; he simply embraces the new experience. Coates admires Samori for his outgoing personality. Through this recollection, the reader can see that Samori has lived more unafraid than his father. This fearlessness is due to Samori’s privileged household, his ability to travel, and his parents’ investment in his upbringing..