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Search tags: ta-nehisi-coates
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review 2017-11-29 14:55
My Black Body
Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates beautifully describes what it is like to be black in America. To have the world treat and see you as different because of the color of your skin. 

 

This is a collection of essays that Coates wrote to his son about his experiences growing up black in America and his thoughts of a lot of the police violence that surrounds being a black teen in America. And he describes how scared many black parents are when raising their children and doing what they can to ensure that they "get" how things are in this world. He segues back and forth into many pivotal points during the U.S.'s history (Civil War, Civil Rights, 9/11). 

 

This will make you uncomfortable. This will make you think. This will make you realize that in a hundred thousand different ways in America we do our best to tell everyone the American dream is for you, but than we hard pause and say it's not for you (if you are black, if you are Muslim, if you are Asian, if you are Hispanic) if you don't fit what the America true ideal is which is to be white and Christian.

 

“Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered.”

 

“The destroyers will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.”

 

“You may have heard the talk of diversity, sensitivity training, and body cameras. These are all fine and applicable, but they understate the task and allow the citizens of this country to pretend that there is real distance between their own attitudes and those of the ones appointed to protect them. The truth is that the police reflect America in all of its will and fear, and whatever we might make of this country’s criminal justice policy, it cannot be said that it was imposed by a repressive minority. The abuses that have followed from these policies—the sprawling carceral state, the random detention of black people, the torture of suspects—are the product of democratic will. And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.”

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review 2017-10-02 00:00
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy - Ta-Nehisi Coates WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER revisits the best of Coates's writing in The Atlantic from the past 8 years - one for every year of Barack Obama's presidency - in the context of today. Coates doesn't mince words; we are living in a racist, imperfect time and there's no guarantee America will see that end in any of our lifetimes. President Obama's election couldn't change it, and now the country has embraced shameless, boldfaced racist rhetoric in direct response to his administration, rather than pretending it doesn't exist. The truth is that America as we know it could not exist without systemic racism built into our laws, into the very founding of the country itself. We have to acknowledge this past in order to start any reasonable discussion of racism today.

This is not a hopeful book. There are no answers within the pages. But if there was ever essential reading, this is a fine place to start.
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review 2017-08-24 04:25
Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Black Panther: World of Wakanda Vol. 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Roxane Gay,Yona Harvey,Alitha Martinez,Afua Richardson

When I first started the Black Panther run by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje quickly became the best part of the series for me. So to get a book with a large focus on the two of them was a great surprise. The fact that Roxane Gay wrote this made it even better.

 

World of Wakanda put the focus on several members of the Dora Milaje from new recruits to veterans as they trained, warded off attacks on Wakanda, and slowly began to question Black Panther and whether he truly was putting Wakanda's interests first. There was a lot of inner conflict for the characters to deal with, and I loved seeing each of them struggle to figure out how to honor their oaths while still doing what they thought was right.

 

And I just really love Ayo and Aneka. It was nice seeing the start of their relationship and its progression. This book gave me better context for what they're doing and why in the Black Panther series. I now want another book or two (or more) of their adventures.

 

The only part I didn't like of this book was the very last issue which switched to a story about White Tiger. While I'm sure I've read stuff with White Tiger in it, I didn't remember much about him beyond that he existed, so it didn't help that his story kept referencing things in his past that I wasn't familiar with. This issue read more like a generic superhero story that was completely different from the previous issues. It just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

 

Despite the last issue, World of Wakanda was excellent. It gave a closer look at some of the most fascinating characters from the Black Panther series and made me want more of them.

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review 2017-08-03 15:13
Waiting for the movie, waiting for the movie
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze

Note: I got this for free via an Amazon Marvel Comics' Offer. I "purchased" a FCBD comic about Rocket for nothing, and then recieved an email coupon saying I could get a free comic collection. I chose this one because I was lucky enough to see Coates speak shortly after it was announced he was writing this.

Years ago, I was a huge Marvel fan, until they screwed one too many of thier female characters over. So I stopped reading. I kept up a bit because you know how it is. You get attached to characters and want to know. I was never a Black Panther fan. Sorry, just wasn't, mostly because I didn't read the Avengers. But Storm, Storm and Firestar are my two favorite Marvel characters. When Storm and Panther married I was like cool even though I shipped Storm/Forge, but why did you retconned it the way you did? Why couldn't the story of Storm saving Panther be kept? Why did it have to be reversed? But I understand the importance of the, this, power couple, but this begs the question why break them up?

So that's my mind set when I picked this up. As someone who has not read Marvel in recent years, I was slightly confused on the outset, though the summery at the start helped with this. And honestly, if Marvel had been producing this when I stopped reading, I would not have stopped reading.

First, the art. Comic books are known for women with skinny waists, big boobs, and really strange outfits. Well, the strange outfits are here and some navels get flashed, but the women are actually drawn as women with real waists and bust sizes. So wow. Awesome. Women in power too. 

Second, the plot. Coates' storyline seems to be on the nature of rule, which is a rather interesting take. Coates explored not only the idea and cost of ruling, but what happens when that pact is broken. It is a really adult look at power and government that mirrors some the politcal situations in some African countries. Really well done writing.

On the representaton issue, this book is great. Two of the leading female characters are in a romantic realtionship where they truly care for each other. They are not demonized. Additionally, there are hints of a relationship between two older adults. There is only one white person who has a small role, and the book therefore balances the predominately white casts of the other comics. Honestly, there was a time when the Avengers seemed to be nothing but blonde men. Representation does matter, everyone should realize this.

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review 2017-06-24 03:43
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (1-4)
Black Panther (2016-) #2 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 3 (Black Panther (2016-)) - Brian Stelfreeze,Ta-Nehisi Coates
Black Panther #4 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Bria... Black Panther #4 - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Brian Stelfreeze

 

 

I read this comic book series for my graphic novel class. I went into it knowing nothing about the Black Panther except having seen him in an Avenger's movie I think. I found this series of comic books more than a bit confusing. So many characters to keep track of and so many story lines that I didn't really understand. But, the main story is good, and if you know the backstory, maybe it will be easier to follow and understand.

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