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.