'99 Problems' but Mitt Ain't One

More

I don't much care if it's cliché to say this—we live in amazing times. Slavery is within our memory. In 1996, Jay-Z released Reasonable Doubt. Daisy Anderson, widow of escaped slave and USCT veteran Robert Anderson died two years later. In 2003 Jay-Z released The Black Album, the same year Gertrude Janeway, the last Union war widow died. A year later, Alberta Martin, the last Confederate widow passed.  Not even a decade later the country elected a black president, and Jay-Z is performing his lovely gutter music at his rallies. 


Sometimes I get really down. I look at Sandy and think nothing will ever change. And yet the fact of America is that in its 200-plus years the rate of its moral improvement has been breathtaking. 
No matter what happens tomorrow, I must remember—I fight to remember—that never in my wildest dreams did I see a black man competing for white votes the way Barack Obama has.

This is not the country I thought it was. Also, Jay-Z should have done "Threat" just to see the steam pop out their ears. OK, so maybe not...


Jump to comments
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.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

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

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In