Jacob Lawrence, The Library
-- a giant swath of humanity and history. I don't think a human gets to see all of this before dying. But I want to see as much of it as I can. And here is the key thing--it thrills me to see it. I love seeing it. I love knowing. The knowing is its own reward. The ability to frame the question is it's own gift--even if you can't quite name the answer.
I think now, four years after watching that video, and having read A History of White People, that I am a writer. And that is not a hustle. And this is not my "in" to get on Meet The Press, to become an activist, to get my life-coach game on. I don't need anymore platforms. I am here to see things as clearly as I can, and then name them. -- Ta-Nehisi Coates writing at The Atlantic, April 2, 2014: "The Blue Period: An Origin Story."
Coates opens his article with a video of Nell Irvin Painter discussing her book The History of White People and moves on to an examination of his own feelings and attempt to understand and reckon with the past and future of racism, of white supremacy.