Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ta-nehisi coates

Probably my favorite writer at The Atlantic, which is my primary news source, is Ta-Nehisi Coates. He writes primarily about race. He is brave, smart, and pushes aside instincts towards wittiness in favor of genuine knowledge and wisdom. He is kick-ass. He has taught me a lot of what I know about racism and America. He's probably taught me even more about how to be a good writer.

Recently he said something I'd like to quote here:

All nations like to begin the story with the chapter that most advantages them and the job of the writer is to resist this instinct.

Yes. The job of the artist is to resist the instinct for approval, the instinct to make one's own self or one's own people group or nation look good. This can be hard because artists are sometimes extra-sensitive people, so they're extra-sensitive to when they're not being approved of. But just because something is hard doesn't mean it's not important to do. Or to try to do.

In closing, read anything and everything Ta-Nehisi Coates has written.

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