We Were Eight Years in Power - "Notes from the Fifth Year" and “Fear of a Black President,” pages 109-147 Summary & Analysis

Coates, Ta-Nehisi
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Summary

In this note Coates recounts his early recognition that “might makes right” (110). When he was attacked in the tough streets on which he grew up, no one gave him any sympathy. Instead, important figures in his life, especially his father, contradicted his early sense of “cosmic justice” by teaching him that fighting was necessary to avoid being a victim; no outside figure, and most especially not God, was going to save him (111). Although Coates initially thought this perspective, which he calls “black atheism,” was one rooted in black culture, he eventually understood that the same standard applied to the entire world. Figures like Andrew Jackson, J. Edgar Hoover, and Hitler—participants in acts of violence and exploitation of nonwhites--are still celebrated in some quarters despite their lack of morality. Coates’s personal...

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This section contains 2,913 words
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