Posts Tagged: Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a powerful essay at Electric Literature, Nicole Dennis-Benn writes on innocence as a privilege that is not afforded to black children:
Truth is, there is nothing parents can do. There is nothing black parents can do to protect their children and their children’s innocence.
Some would argue that the loss of privacy is a small price to pay to have your voice heard on an international scale. But over at the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes honestly and unpretentiously about his difficulties returning home as a prominent literary figure, and how his sudden visibility carries a safety concern particular to being a black man who regularly speaks his truth:
But the world is real.
Ever since Zoe Saldana was set to play Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina, controversy has surrounded the casting choice. Writing in the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates says that the issue isn’t just about Saldana’s lighter skin tone, but the erasure of Simone’s facial features and what it says about America’s racist beauty standards:
Saldana has said that others actors who better resembled Simone passed on the role, and that she herself declined it for a year.
Memoir, the offspring of the slave narrative, is not simply a form within the Black literary tradition; it has thoroughly shaped that tradition.
You know how you can like a book just fine, but if you love a book, you’ll tell a friend about it? I told my friend Craig about all of these books. Craig has a facile brain and big heart and a sometimes crusty manner—which makes me like him extra....more
The New York Times’s Alexandra Alter interviews “America’s foremost public intellectual” and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates on his newfound success and public hail—which he both appreciates and is ambivalent about, it seems:
The best part of writing is really to educate yourself.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” Between the World and Me, and, most recently, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” will continue highlighting the societal problems faced by young African-American men in his new work this spring—through the perspective of Marvel superhero Black Panther....more
It’s more Baldwin understood that if you are going to say something important about the world it is best if you try to say it beautifully.
At the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates unflinchingly analyzes and condemns the history of mass incarceration in America and its disproportionately devastating effect on black families:
The blacks incarcerated in this country are not like the majority of Americans. They do not merely hail from poor communities—they hail from communities that have been imperiled across both the deep and immediate past, and continue to be imperiled today.
The body in writing is a vessel to feeling—to empathy. Reading Lidia Yuknavitch, Maggie Nelson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, among others, is to feel.
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book Between the World and Me is a letter addressed to his son that America needs to read. New York profiles the author, whose fearless writing about race continues to hold readers accountable to history:
Coates’s writing takes an almost opposite position: that religion is blindness, and that if you strip away the talk of hope and dreams and faith and progress, what you see are enduring structures of white supremacy and no great reason to conclude that the future will be better than the past.
These days there are so many screens showing superheroes one can almost forget that they came from comics. Ta-Nehisi Coates talks to Vulture about storytelling, representation, and the places where movies fall short:
We’re talking about something that’s so surreal it’s just not possible within the world as we know it.
The latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly just went live, and the feature story by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a monster. It’s about making the moral case for reparations, but it expands the conversation surrounding this topic in two ways. The first way it does this is by pointing out, in vivid detail, the way that the exploitation and mistreatment of blacks in the US is an inextricable part of our history and that it continues to this present day....more
Not to overload anyone on political coverage, but Ta-Nehisi Coates’s reaction to the George Zimmerman trial is an absolute must-read.
In it, he looks at the actual legal text involved in the case and points out that what’s so deeply frightening about it isn’t that the verdict flouted the law; it’s that the law—and in many ways, the entire concept of American justice—is written to enable this kind of verdict....more
You may have noticed one or two jokes about Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s collaboration “Accidental Racist,” partially because of every aspect of the song, but mainly because of every aspect of the song.
But Ta-Nehisi Coates puts humor aside for his response in the Atlantic, choosing instead to “seriously and directly engag[e] Brad Paisley and his stated motives for the song.” And he does it really well:
“Booming System” is dope.
Byliner’s list of spectacular nonfiction articles of 2012 highlights two complementary essays from the Atlantic‘s Civil War issue.
First, Yoni Appelbaum uses a hyperrealistic “cyclotron” painting of the Battle of Gettysburg as a pin to puncture the national narrative that the Union and the Confederacy were equally noble, and that veterans from both sides had only to recognize their mutual heroism to become “comrades.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the same battle and the same narrative (as well as the same Faulkner passage) from a different perspective....more