A few weeks ago, my friend Morgan, told me about an article over on The Atlantic’s website she felt I should read. I had, in fact, heard about the article she suggested to me, but felt I wasn’t in the right mind set or mood to read it and had shrugged it off. Well, it just so happened that one Sunday morning while I was working a long shift at my “survival job” I decided to take the time to finally read it. Talk about a bad idea, haha. I don’t mean it was a bad idea in terms of disliking the material, but idea in how I was able to fully engross myself in the text and empathize with the protagonists in the story and how they related to me and my own identity.
The article was called, “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. and can I just say that this piece moved me to tears, rattled my mind with numerous questions, disbelief, awe and left me completely dumbfounded. Woof. That is the best word I can think of to describe my emotional and intellectual state after reading it. As I digested each word of Coates’ thesis, I gobbled it up as if it were new found nourishment for my soul. The way the writer was able to use the politics and social upheaval involved with Chicago housing and neighborhood makeup, unlocked a new level in the nation’s civil rights history. The history of African-Americans in this country, and the socio-economic imbalances that still shape our nation today.
If you’re looking for a dense, yet easily absorbed article to bring up at dinner or at cocktail hour with friends or coworkers, I strongly suggest taking a look at this piece. It really forces you to take a long, hard look at where we as a nation stand, especially after celebrating America’s birthday, and pondering how far we’ve come, what issues have been resolved, swept under the rug, or simply placed on the back burner for another generation (mine) to figure out.
Talk about a deep “Tuesday Thoughts, huh? If you do happen to find time, click on the link above and take a gander. If it’s too much, pace yourself. Coates has divided it into ten chapters to make for easy reading. Just remember, how can we move forward, if we are unwilling to take an objective look at our past?