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As a great literary artist once said, "I'm the type that's always catching a flight." At the moment that has led me to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have never been here before. I'm staying in an old historic hotel, and the snow is coming down in sheets. I don't know whether to be awed by the beauty or annoyed that I can't get my run in. (I'm seriously considering trying anyway.)  Either way, having spent the past year in the letters of runaway slaves and flying from my own family on business, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the virtues of home.


Speaking of which, I need to say that Stephanie Mills holds the crown--mashing Diana Ross, and sonning, even, the goddess Whitney. I missed this because when Mill's version was released I was in my "hardcore, no R&B singer" phase. My loss. Mills just kills it at the end, though she could do without the backup. She don't need it. I tell you, I'm playing this one a lot this morning.


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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. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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