Even more this time. Here I am making an appearance in a piece by
Paul Frank Bruni (How embarrassing, I was thinking of my Dad as I wrote this. Ugh. Frank, if you're out there, my apologies. No disrespect intended.). I'm referred to as "the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates." Hmm, sounds important. I just as well could have been "that dude who lays on his couch, and orders his son to fetch his shoes, Ta-Nehisi Coates." Guess that's kind of long. And here's a Q&A with Bookslut. Oh yes, there will be Spiderman references:
I wanted to ask about Marvel Comics.
The fantasy of those books is centered on the idea that you have these kids who feel themselves to be freaks and they get to live out this fantasy where their freaky nature is realized as having these great powers. They end up being sexier, they get to wear tight clothes and they get to beat people up. How does this fantasy play out for a black kid growing up in the crack epidemic, living with a perpetual fear of violence?
I think the important thing is to not internalize your own persecution. "Persecution" is too strong a word.
Yeah, that might be too strong a word too. [pause] Kids are mean. They're beautiful. But they can be cruel. But for all of that, there's the idea that you have more worth than they tell you you have. So don't internalize what they tell you. That's the obvious parable. That's X-Men, obviously. The greatest thing about Spider-Man is that everyone in New York hated him. (laughs) I didn't know that at first. I came to Spider-Man first through the cartoons and then I started reading the comic books. And it was a shock to me that people hated him. They threw stuff at him. They cursed at him. I don't know if it's still like that in Marvel today. He's gone through some changes. But in the '80s, you know, Spider-Man was not liked. That was just so intriguing to me.