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I've linked this before, but I guess I'm on a Sam Cooke kick. I think the best part of this video is seeing these white kids huddling around Sam at the end. I think one of the challenges of being a liberal is balancing the impulse to critique, while still acknowledging positive change, and progress. 


I think about those kids around Sam, and realize that, at that very moment, the last generation of black people born into slavery was dying off. If you maintain, as I do, that it really wasn't that long ago, you must then, also, maintain that we have made stunning progress. Especially considering how really abnormal--one could almost say unnatural--government by woman and man really is. It is the best state of things, but by the lights of even recent history, it is not the normal state of things. It's not even really a "state," so much as a constant effort.



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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.

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