Toward a Manifested Courage, Cont.

In the thread just below commenter Eva14 writes:


It really is too easy. I hate to make the inevitable Hitler reference, but I remember taking on most of my classmates in a Nazism seminar - they seemed to think they all would have been the ones hiding Jews in their attics. I'd sure like to hope so, too, but of the 30 of us in that class, most would have been just keeping our heads down at best, and a few would have been actively informing to the Gestapo, or worse. It's just facts - and it's one more reason to be grateful I don't live in a time and place where I really have to find out what I'm made of. It's pure hubris to be sure I'd like the answer.

This made me think of the great Richard Pryor riff on courage and the Nazis. "Vat is dis?" There's a lot before that, but most of shows what I love about Pryor. He found his art in his own averageness, in his vulnerability, in his human cowardice. Of course stripping yourself naked is, in itself, a kind of courage.

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.

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

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

From This Author

Just In