Sunday, January 19, 2020


     Kenyatta and I had been together for nine years, and during that time I had never been able to consistently contribute a significant income.  I was a writer and felt myself part of the tradition stretching back to a time when reading and writing were, for black people, the marks of rebellion.  I believed, somewhat absurdly, that they still were.  And so I derived great meaning from the work of writing.  But I could not pay the rent with "great meaning."  I could not buy groceries with "great meaning." With "great meaning" I overdrew accounts.  With "great meaning" I burned through credit cards and summoned the IRS.  Wild and unlikely schemes often appeared before me.  Maybe I should go to culinary school.  Maybe I should be a bartender.  I'd considered driving a cab.  Kenyatta had a more linear solution:  "I think you should spend more time writing."

-Ta-Nehisi Coates:  We Were Eight Years In Power:  An American Tragedy

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