Sunday, June 1, 2014

Great reads: Ta-Nehisi Coates' masterpiece and much more

Library of Congress photos. Links: Left, Right.

My typical approach to this space is to collect some recent links that have caught my eye and then present them for your browsing pleasure.

But, this time around, I want to take a bit more of a forceful stance, perhaps even a strident one, and strongly urge you to read this recent piece of outstanding American journalism in The Atlantic:

The Case for Reparations
Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts,
America will never be whole.
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Set aside some quiet time to read it. Absorb it over the course of a few days. Plan to finish it before the end of June. But just read it.

It's an important, thoughtful piece. Set aside any preconceived notions. It relates more about American history, and who and why we are what we are in 2014, than any textbook you ever had in high school or college. (And it doesn't hurt that, as a friend said, it's just "gorgeous writing.")

I would love to see efforts by people in true positions of power and influence to get Coates' work in front of as many readers as possible. Get everyone talking about it. Make it part of the curriculum in high schools. Let it be the launching point for the kind of critical discussions and debates we need in this country.

That's my hope, anyway. Probably all that I can do is get it in front of a few new eyeballs that might have missed it. But if every one of us brought just two new readers into the fold...

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More links for your browsing pleasure.


History, language and learning

Images and photography

Arts and entertainment

Animals and nature

Technology and culture


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Finally, take three more minutes of your time and watch this video: "Mr. G and Jellybean." You'll be glad you did.

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