The color of one's skin is irrelevant. We're all the same.
America is striated with cultures, but they are, in the end, combined in the
"melting pot." I have always believed, without hesitation or effort, that these
statements and the ideas behind them are true. Blissful innocence? Perhaps. Is
there anything wrong with these ideas? Maybe not. But are they realistic - are
they possible amidst the intricacy of human families and their individual and
collective histories and cultures? After reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's memoir,
The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood
I can not be sure that my own breezy confidence in the sameness of us all was
not in some part a poor substitute for a more rational understanding of our
In the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to reveal that I am...
Beyond the Book
The Black Panthers
The author's father, Paul Coates, was a member of the
Black Panther Party. As Coates describes in his book, the Party's original
aims concerned self-defense and social justice. Bobby Seale and Huey Newton
founded the Party in 1966. Its diverse membership, however, made cohesion
difficult and produced geographically clustered varieties of the socialism,
counter-culturalism and Black Nationalism for which the Party became known. The
Black Panthers frequently clashed with law enforcement: FBI Counter Intelligence
Programs (COINTELPRO), for example, investigated the group's alleged connections
to communism and hate-related violence across the U.S. Many in the Black
community felt that the police and government were unfairly targeting...