Jalen Rose's Uncle Tom Comment

I haven't finished watching the Fab Five doc, but it's really sad that Rose's Uncle Tom comment is overshadowing the piece. What I saw was excellent. But more to the point, I didn't think Rose's point was that Grant Hill was--objectively--an Uncle Tom. The point was that as a 19-year old kid, who had significant anger toward his own father, significant anger about growing up poor, he saw Grant Hill as a Tom and the Duke program as targeting Toms. 


That's very different than making an actual, literal case that, say, Hubert Davis or Elton Brand are Uncle Toms. Rose is dismissive of Christian Laettner, but he actually says he only felt that way, "until I got on the floor with him." I'm not sure why that's wrong. I could fill a blog post about the objectionable thoughts I had at 19. It almost gives the thing too much credit to say people are "taking it out of context." From what I can tell, folks heard "Duke" and "Uncle Tom" and then stopped listening.

I can't wait to watch the whole thing.

UPDATE: My apologies for defaming Hubert Davis. Being an ACC dude, I should have remembered he was a Tar Heel.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In