We Were Eight Years in Power Quotes

Coates, Ta-Nehisi
This Study Guide consists of approximately 82 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of We Were Eight Years in Power.
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One strain of African-American thought holds that it is a violent black recklessness--the black gangster, the black rioter--that strikes the ultimate here in White America. Perhaps it does, in the most individual sense. But in the collective sense, what this country really fears is black respectability, good Negro government.
-- Author (Introduction: “Regarding Good Negro Government” paragraph 6)

Importance: This quote previews Coates’s answer to an important question: how could the country that voted Barack Obama into the presidency twice have voted for Donald Trump in 2016? In this quote, Coates locates the answer in the failure of black respectability politics and the triumph of white supremacy.

I knew, even then, that whenever I nodded along in ignorance, I lost an opportunity, betrayed the wonder in me by privileging the appearance of knowing over the work of finding out.
-- Author ("Notes from the Second Year" paragraph 3)

Importance: This quote reflects Coates's early awareness of the importance of intellectual curiosity. Throughout the rest of the collection, Coates represents himself...

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This section contains 1,623 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the We Were Eight Years in Power Study Guide
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