We Were Eight Years in Power (Ta-Nehisi Coates)

  "And I know that there are black boys and black girls out there lost in a Bermuda triangle of the mind or stranded in the doldrums of America, some of them treading and some of them drowning, never feeling and never forgetting."

"And I know that there are black boys and black girls out there lost in a Bermuda triangle of the mind or stranded in the doldrums of America, some of them treading and some of them drowning, never feeling and never forgetting."

U.S.A. / 2017

This collection is essentially a round-up of all the essays Coates has previously published in The Atlantic. I admit I was slightly disappointed about this, because I was expecting new essays. Of these eight essays, I had already previously read five of them online. However, Coates did write an introduction for each essay. These were like diary entries; meditations on who he was and how he wrote the essay. These new personal essays were insightful. As a collection, these essays flowed effortlessly together. They complimented each other extraordinarily well and made the book itself feel like a solid argument. Reading these essays in conjunction with one another really allowed for a deeper mode of understanding. My favorite essay was and still is "The Case for Reparations." This essay, to me, puts Coates' value as a writer on full display. His dedication to research, to history, to hard facts and undeniable truths turns vague arguments into solid possibilities. My other two favorites were "My President Was Black" and "Fear of A Black President." My only critique of this collection is that sometimes it seemed that Coates could be inhibited by his own perspective and experience. His critiques of Obama, in particular, seem to be rooted in a constricting understanding of the multitudes of blackness. I think for Coates "black" is synonymous with "struggle." It is surely a synonym, but I don't believe it's the only one. Anyway, this book was a delight, a massive achievement. A gift to your shelves. 5/5 stars 💫💫💫💫💫