Quotes by: Ta Nehisi Coates
I'm the descendant of enslaved black people in this country. You could've been born in 1820 if you were black and looked back to your ancestors and saw nothing but slaves all the way back to 1619. Look forward another 50 or 60 years and saw nothing but slaves.
I just want to be really clear about this: Anyone who has read Colin Powell's biography - there's an entire section where he talks about experiencing segregation. Colin Powell did not appear when he became head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That's not how it happened.
When I see Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk, it's only a picture. My imagination has to do some of the work there, to impute feeling and everything. We're talking about something that's so surreal, it's just not possible within the world as we know it. So that requires a form that is not so literal.
Somebody once told me, black people, in and of themselves, are cosmopolitan. There's cosmopolitanism within the black experience. There's an incredible amount.
We've got in the habit of not really understanding how freedom was in the 19th century, the idea of government of the people in the 19th century. America commits itself to that in theory.
I was born in West Baltimore, lived in a situation in which violence was everywhere.
I feel some need to represent where I'm from. But ultimately, I think my only real responsibility is to - as much as possible - interrogate my own truths. This is to say not merely writing what I think is true, but using the writing to turn that alleged truth over and over, to stress-test it, in the aim of producing something readable.
The lives of African-Americans in this country are characterized by violence for most of our history. Much of that violence, at least to some extent, you know, done by the very state that's supposed to protect them.
I love living around black people. Home is home. We suffer under racism and the physical deprivations that come with that, but beneath that, we form cultures and traditions that are beautiful.
When people think about reparations, they immediately think about people who've been dead for 100 years.
I love America the way I love my family - I was born into it. And there's no escape out of it.
I do understand how hate eats at the soul and how to purge yourself of hate.
The two endorsements I'm most proud of come from Isabel Wilkerson and Toni Morrison. The latter is the greatest American fiction writer of our time, and the former is on her way to being the greatest American nonfiction writer of our time.
I constantly write about my safety walking to and from school, and then I would come home at night, and I would cut on the TV, and I would watch a show like 'The Wonder Years,' or I would watch, you know, some other show like 'Family Ties.'
I feel sorry for people who only know comic books through movies. I really do.
I was about 13 or 14 when I heard Malcolm X's speech 'Message to the Grass Roots.'
There are African-American families around this country - a large, large number of African-American families - that operate out of complete fear that their kids are going to be taken from them and will do anything to prevent that.
Outside of hip-hop, it was in comics that I most often found the aesthetics and wisdom of my world reflected.
One of the things that's really, really present in 'Between the World and Me' is, I am in some ways outside of the African-American tradition.
I wasn't the biggest Captain America fan, but increasingly, I see him as a great character. Winter Soldier really got into what it meant to actually represent America.
I would say as a journalist, I would envision travelling to other countries that have had to reckon with their past and see how they've done it: what worked, what didn't work, finding characters that would tell the story of how that process was done.
It meant something to see people who looked like me in comic books. It was this beautiful place that I felt pop culture should look like.
The country in which reparations actually happen is a very different one than the one we live in.
I didn't start off as a journalist; I started off as a poet. My ambition was to practise poetry. Then I found journalism, but that other voice never fled from me.