It really is a gloriously, painfully beautiful book. And possibly the most significant piece of existentialist writing in a long time.
A correction; Coates is extremely clear:
“Here is what I knew at the outset: The officer who killed Prince Jones was black.”
This is important to Coates; the fact that the officer and the political figures above him in hierarchy were black indicate part of his broader thesis. Namely, he argues that race issues in the United States are not about individual white racists but rather about interlocking self-maintaining structures of power whose effects are to disadvantage, cheat, hurt, and kill black people despite the fact that individuals within these systems may have good intentions or personal experience with such systemic discrimination.
Right you are – thank you!
I saw him this past week… he’s excellent in conversation, too. The book is fantastic. I love how it moves through his mental and emotional processes from his childhood to now.
Yes, but did he drop any hints on what to expect from Black Panther?
No, sadly. He seemed a little surprised when half the audience clapped when he mentioned it… “y’all like comics?” he asked and half the audience cheered again, but that was about it.
Nothing guilts me into reading a book more than when Toni Morrison tells me it’s required reading. Not a joke.
I don’t know if you should feel guilty… motivated maybe, or perhaps persuaded.
My review was similar but less verbose…
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