Summary of “Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks to Jesmyn Ward About Writing Fiction, Reparations, and the Legacy of Slavery”

One of the things Coates must now do is figure out how to balance the two: how to write nonfiction and fiction, how to juggle his renown with his calling.
A few weeks after our meeting, Coates is called to testify before members of Congress for H.R. 40, a proposed bit of legislation that would study the issue of reparations.
Coates has been so persuasive in his writing about the issue that even those on the other side of the political divide, like conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks, agree with him.
Invested because Coates is one of the first to testify, directly after Senator Cory Booker.
Coates immediately does this brilliant thing where he insists our very conception of ourselves as a nation and a democratic republic is based on embracing our legacy, embracing the more honorable figures and aspects of our past.
“If I agree to pay taxes, if I agree to fealty to a government, and you give me a different level of resources out of that tax pool, if you give me a different level of protection, you have effectively stolen from me. If you deny my ability to vote, and to participate in the political process, to decide how those resources are used, you have effectively stolen from me.” Coates goes on to establish the wealth gap that Julianne Malveaux, an economist on the panel, attributes to that theft that spans almost 350 years, from 1619 to 1968-“Conservatively.” Then Coates finishes with steady assurance.
I believe The Water Dancer will not be the last novel you read by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“I could write slavery fiction all day,” he says.

The orginal article.