Jump to content

Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me debuts at #1 on the New York Time Best Sellers List


Recommended Posts

I watched the video snippet and listened to what Ta-Nehisi Coates had to say, and it was true.  But is it profound or enlightening to anybody other than naive white people who might just include the editors at his publishing company.  Are there any critical thinking black people who don't know that personal responsibility and virtue on their part does not trump racism and poverty?? Or does being twice as accomplished as a white rival even guarantee success.  In reality, many high profile blacks have become multi-millionaires not by exhibiting personal responsibility but by simply having a talent or a skill that provides entertainment and diversion for white people. 

 A famous quote by Proust says that  "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes"  Could this be why the articulate and animated Ta'Nehisi Coates has catapulted to the ranks of an intellectual rock star?  Because he simply looks at the ongoing problem of race with a new set of eyes, making his generation aware of what black elders have already figured out.  

It's interesting that Toni Morrison and Cornel West have butted heads over  the validity of Coates' genius.  Has Toni anointed him because he says what she wants to hear because what is familiar to her is what she wants to hear?  Does Cornel feel threatened by this upstart's ideas, a frustration making him resort to style over substance diversionary tactics that consist of theoretical counterpoints?  Am I missing something here?  Or is the release of this new book much ado about nothing, comparable to the hulabaloo over Harper Lee's prequel to "To Kill A Mockingbird". 

My cynical reaction to so much of what is going on this silly world is not something I have to work at.  It comes natural to me.  Would I be bragging if I make claim to being a true iconoclast??  

Edited by Cynique
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is hard for me to be unbiased because I know Coates father, who I view as a mentor, so I'm pleased to see his son succeed and get paid.  

I'm also pretty confident Ta-Nehisi's success will have a direct and positive impact on indie Black businesses.  For the book launch event a Black bookseller, MahoganyBooks, with was the bookseller.  I also work with MahiganyBooks, Ta-Neshisi's success, is MahoganyBooks success, is my success, and so on.

Chris, the Morrison's quote was indeed a big deal.  It was like getting a nod from Oprah.  But even that quote was not sufficient alone to propel this book to this level of success it currently enjoys.  The Atlantic provided the platform that sadly no single Black platform could provide.  In other words, Black folks did not anoint Ta-Nehisi, as the spokesperson for Black suffering, white people did.  Perhaps part of West's frustration is that very fact.  

Imagine if "The Case for Reparations" was published by Ebony Magazine, assuming they had the funds to invest in the project, I doubt the article would have caught on.  I think collectively we could make it happen, but getting Black folks to work together is like herding hyper kittens.  

We know when white folks chose our spokespeople that spokesperson will be completely innocuous as far as changing anything.  They will not ruffle feathers or offend the sensibilities of white folks, they will not incite a riot, they will be perfectly acceptable, great at cocktail parties and never really show much anger.  More importantly they will eclipse anyone else that might. 

Since I run AALBC.com I know there are countless books covering, in great detail, everything Coates is saying and more.  But again Black people published this stuff and unless white folks embrace it; it is fringe, obscure, and certainly not the fodder for national morning talk shows.  

People like Tony Brown and Gil Noble covered this stuff, but shows like those are a thing of the past.  We have to depend on NPR, Charlie Rose and the like who embrace folks like Ta-Nehisi with open arms to educate and information Black and white folks about the obvious.

But none of this really matters much to the masses of Black folks, most of whom have not read The Case and have no clue who Ta-Neshisi is...  Cynique how cynical is that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...