About 15 minutes into the HBO film adaptation of “Between the World and Me”, Ta-Nehisi Coates best-selling 2015 book framed as a letter to his son about what it means to be Black in America, Susan Kelechi Watson, who portrays Beth Pearson in “This Is Us,” walks across the campus of Howard University, describing the life there. …Watson attended Howard, but the words she is speaking are Coates’. So too is Mahershala Ali speaking Coates’ words…The matchup between performer and passage is often inspired: But there is a cumulative effect of Coates’ words being performed by this huge starry cast..that is greater than any specific thought it articulates or moment that it illuminates. Together, they are saying: This is us. This is the way Black people live in America.