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Ta-Nehisi Coates Quotes

Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The best part of writing is not the communication of knowledge to other people, but the acquisition and synthesizing of knowledge for oneself.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others...”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “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.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “If George Washington crossing the Delaware matters, so must his ruthless pursuit of the runagate Oney Judge.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The greatest reward of this constant interrogation, confrontation with the brutality of my country, is that it has freed me from hosts and myths.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The standard progressive approach of the moment is to mix color-conscious moral invective with color-blind public policy.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “But race is the child of racism, not the father.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Just because you came here in 1880, 1950, whenever, you became an American. You get to celebrate July 4th like every other American. You don’t just get the good part. You get the bad part, too. You get all of it.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The progressive approach to policy which directly addresses the effects of white supremacy is simple – talk about class and hope no one notices.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “You can live in the world of myth and be taken seriously.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “I was a black boy at the height of the crack era, which meant that my instructors pitched education as the border between those who would prosper in America, and those who would be fed to the great hydra of prison, teenage pregnancy and murder.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “We know what we are, that we walk like we are not long for this world, that this world has never longed for us.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Anyone can make a baby, but it takes a man to be a father.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The robbery of time is not measured in lifespans but in moments.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “To acknowledge these horrors means turning away from the brightly rendered version of your country as it has always declared itself and turning toward something murkier and unknown. It is still too difficult for most Americans to do this. But that is your work. It must be, if only to preserve the sanctity of your mind.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “What sets black people apart is not some deficit in personal responsibility. It’s the weight on our shoulders. That is what’s actually different. We have the weight and burden of history.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Later, I would hear it in Dad’s voice – “Either I can beat him, or the police.” Maybe that saved me. Maybe it didn’t. All I know is, the violence rose from the fear like smoke from a fire, and I cannot say whether that violence, even administered in fear and love, sounded the alarm or choked us at the exit.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have, and you come to us endangered.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “If the streets shackled my right leg, the schools shackled my left. Fail to comprehend the streets and you gave up your body now. But fail to comprehend the schools and you gave up your body later.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The streets transform every ordinary day into a series of trick questions, and every incorrect answer risks a beat-down, a shooting, or a pregnancy. No one survives unscathed. And yet the heat that springs from the constant danger, from a lifestyle of near-death experience, is thrilling.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “And for so long I have wanted to escape into the Dream, to fold my country over my head like a blanket. But this has never been an option because the Dream rests on our backs, the bedding made from our bodies.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “This need to be always in guard was an unmeasured expenditure of energy, the slow siphoning of essence. It contributed to the fast breakdown of our bodies. So I feared not just the violence of the world but the rules designed to protect you from it, the rules that would have you contort your body to address the block, and contort again to be taken seriously by colleagues, a contort again so as not to give the police a reason.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Not being violent enough could cost me my body. Being too violent could cost me my body. We could not get out.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “My work is to give you what I know of my own particular path while allowing you to walk your own.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The Dream is the enemy of all art, courageous thinking, and honest writing.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “How do I live free in this black body? It is a profound question because America understands itself as God’s handiwork, but the black body is the clearest evidence that America is the work of men.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “What I want you to know is that this is not your fault, even if it is ultimately your responsibility.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “But a society that protects some people through a safety net of schools, government-backed home loans, and ancestral wealth but can only protect you with the club of criminal justice has either failed at enforcing its good intentions or has succeeded at something much darker.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “There is nothing uniquely evil in these destroyers or even in this moment. The destroyers are merely men enforcing the whims of our country, correctly interpreting its heritage and legacy.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Poetry aims for an economy of truth – loose and useless words must be discarded, and I found that these loose and useless words were not separate from loose and useless thoughts.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The Knowledge Rule 2080: From maggots to men, the world is a corner bully. Better you knuckle up and go for yours than have to bow your head and tuck your chain.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “It is not necessary that you believe that the officer who choked Eric Garner set out that day to destroy a body. All you need to understand is that the officer carries with him the power of the American state and the weight of an American legacy, and they necessitate that of the bodies destroyed every year, some wild and disproportionate number of them will be black.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Before I could discover, before I could escape, I had to survive, and this could only mean a clash with the streets, by which I mean not just physical blocks, nor simply the people packed into them, but the array of lethal puzzles and strange perils that seem to rise up from the asphalt itself. The streets transform every ordinary day into a series of trick questions, and every incorrect answer risks a beat-down, a shooting, or a pregnancy.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Good intention” is a hall pass through history, a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “To prevent enabling oppression, we demand that black people be twice as good. To prevent verifying stereotypes, we pledge to never eat a slice a watermelon in front of white people.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “So you must wake up every morning knowing that no promise is unbreakable, least of all the promise of waking up at all. This is not despair. These are the preferences of the universe itself: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “You have seen all the wonderful life up above the tree-line, yet you understand that there is no real distance between you and Trayvon Martin, and thus Trayvon Martin must terrify you in a way that he could never terrify me. You have seen so much more of all that is lost when they destroy your body.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “I wanted you to have your own life, apart from fear – even apart from me. I am wounded. I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “Tolstoy is the Tolstoy of the Zulus,′ wrote Wiley. ‘Unless you find a profit in fencing off universal properties of mankind into exclusive tribal ownership.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “And godless though I am, the fact of being human, the fact of possessing the gift of study, and thus being remarkable among all the matter floating through the cosmos, still awes me.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “I have searched for answers in nationalist myth, in classrooms, out on the streets, and on other continents. The question is unanswerable, which is not to say futile. The greatest reward of this constant interrogation, of confrontation with the brutality of my country, is that it has freed me from ghosts and girded me against the sheer terror of disembodiment.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The Dream thrives on generalization, on limiting the number of possible questions, on privileging immediate answers.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates Quote: “The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.”
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