How did an Afro-pessimist who doesn't believe in hope become the darling of white liberals?
The new Black Panther series uses genre conventions to say something true.
Lincoln understood that the dream of well-being, if not radically democratized, would for some people only be a nightmare.
John of Patmos presents readers of Revelation with fantastical visions of what life could be, just as Dickens does to Scrooge.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is an atheist. But perhaps his atheism is precisely the kind that Christians in America need.
Yet, his “pessimism” lies in thinking change is unlikely, not that change is impossible. When discussing police brutality and criminal justice, he reminds his readers that “democratic will” has sanctioned and allowed the abuses that flow from these practices.
If you haven't read Ta-Nehisi Coates's cover story in the current Atlantic, do. Coates surveys the history of white supremacy in America, with a particular focus on housing policy in one Chicago neighborhood, and calls us to do what we've never really done: seriously consider what it might take to make it right. The headline is "The Case for Reparations," but Coates doesn't name a dollar amount or even argue that payment is the main goal.