Fresh Ideas: On Coates’ newest book

From The Los Angeles Times: “Early in ‘We Were Eight Years in Power,’ Ta-Nehisi Coates’ third book, he writes, ‘there is a notion out there that black people enjoy the Sisyphean struggle against racism. In fact, most of us live for the day when we can struggle against anything else.’ However, as he explains, black Americans struggle out of fear for their and their children’s lives; they struggle to avoid their feelings because ‘to actually consider all that was taken, to understand that it was taken systematically, that the taking is essential to America and echoes down through the ages, could make you crazy.’” Coates’ writing emerges from this struggle while articulating a way of holding this madness at bay aesthetically and intellectually.

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