Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me stirred something unique in the hearts of its readers. Was it the fiercely damning portrayal of race in America? Its structure as a letter written by the author to his son? Coates’s deeply emotional prose? Or was it a magical combination of all three? Suddenly, everywhere you turned, someone was reading the book, which went on to win the National Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. At the time of its publication in 2015, Between the World and Me was hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading.” Now a cast of greats—Mahershala Ali, Angela Davis, Oprah Winfrey, and, of course, Coates—carries her torch into a screen adaptation. This 80-minute HBO TV special is directed by Kamilah Forbes, executive producer at the Apollo Theater and director of the 2018 stage adaptation of the book. —J.V.