Some Quick Thoughts on The Atlantic

Last night The Atlantic won two awards. The first was for best website. The second was for essays and criticism. The essay in question was written by me. In my mind, these awards are linked. Writing for the website has fundamentally changed how I write in print.

If you crawl back through the archives of early to mid 2012, you will find me writing this story, on this blog, with some assistance from you. (The Trayvon coverage, for instance.) If you crawl even further back to the summer of 2010, you can find me writing this story with some assistance from you. (The Shirley Sherrod coverage, for instance.) And if you crawl back to the archives of 2008, you will see the same thing.

This space is my notebook. But in the borders and outside the margins you can see the added scribblings and post-its authored by The Horde. You can read through the current housing coverage in Chicago and see the same thing happening right now. People often praise this site for its comments community. They speak to me as though I am doing a public service. In fact, my aims are wholly selfish. This is my notebook. The scribblings and post-its have to actually help me.

So I want to thank The Horde. I want to thank The Horde for telling me to read Confederate Emancipation.  I want to thank whoever it was that told me to read Making The Second Ghetto. I want to thank all the philosophy-heads who dive into my naive and infrequent discussions of Hobbes. I want to thank everyone of you who endures and corrects mon pauvre français

Thank you all. For the Horde.

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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