Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of America’s finest writers. If you haven’t read it, please put a bookmark in whatever book you’re working on and go read “Between the World and Me.” It’s a short read, and it very well may change your life, or at least your thinking.
And in the Atlantic this week, he has written a masterful profile of our current, but soon to be former, president – Barack Hussein Obama. Though I personally feel that even many of his current detractors will come to miss (however one may feel about his policies) the dignity and grace and humor with which President Obama has held office the last 8 years, I do not post this as a comparison or political commentary. I’m sharing it here because through the lens of Obama, an a-typical Black American of his age who nevertheless embraced that cultural identity, Coates delves into what it means to be Black in America.
Coates’ prose is impeccable; his insight stunning. It’s a long read for an article, but it’s the kind of reading that deserves space. We do not know what the future holds, and I think that as many non-white, non-male Americans would point out — life in our society has hardly been just or unified up to this point. But it does feel like we are about to embark on a period of greater strife, greater animosity and division. Those of us who at least give lip-service to concepts like Equality will need to strive to understand each other. Ta-Nahisi Coates is a good place to start.