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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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"Introduction: Regarding Good Negro Government," pages xiii-xvii

Consider how Coates opens his essay. What important themes does the quote from Miller introduce?

According to Coates, what is the relationship between white supremacy and black respectability? Why has “good Negro government” not ended white supremacy?

What is the purpose of the notes that preface the essays in the collection?

"Notes from the First Year" and “’This is how we lost to the white man’: The Audacity of Bill Cosby’s Black Conservatism,” pages 5-32

Why does Coates see both his story and the story of Bill Cosby as “myth[s] of self-generated success" (7)?

With what parts of Cosby’s calling out of African American culture does Coates agree, and with what parts does he disagree? Why?

What does Coates mean when he says Cosby’s criticism of African American culture is an example of historical amnesia?

“Notes from the Second Year” and “American Girl,” pages 35-57

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This section contains 822 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the We Were Eight Years in Power Study Guide
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