by Stennett Nyekanyeka
Coates emulates the late James Baldwin’s work The Fire Next Time, which contains two essays. The first is entitled My Dungeon Shook — Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of Emancipation and the second Down At The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind. Critics of the book cite insist that Coates writes in a self-indulgent tone indicative of a writer caught in his success. Let's call that a point in favor of the critics. The result is oftentimes verbose as Coates expresses the love and fear he has for his son growing up as a black boy.