I don’t much follow the MacArthur Genius Grants because they tend to go to individuals for esoteric subjects that I don’t much care about. This year is different because one of my favorite writers, Ta-Nehisi Coates, was granted a fellowship this year. Coates has long been a person I would like in my neighborhood and he hasn’t disappointed me since. Most people like to brag about how they were fans of a band back well before they were famous. I’m like that with Ta-Nehisi Coates.
YOU SHOULD READ ALL THE THINGS! (Insert Hyperbole and a Half graphic here). Seriously, Coates is required reading if you want to understand race relations in the U.S. today. I recently finished “Between the World and Me” which is a masterpiece and should be read by everyone with a pulse. It is heavy and deep and I’m waiting on a reread before I write my review because it’s a whole lot to take in. In the meantime, if you haven’t read his two brilliant long form articles, “The Case for Reparations” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration“, you should do so.
I look forward to what Coates will do when unfettered by the shackles of worrying about a paycheck. I expect great things from him. As does he from himself.
And if that weren’t enough, Lin-Manuel Miranda also was awarded a fellowship this year. Don’t know who he is? Me either. But, I recently posted about his new play, “Hamilton“, which debuted this year and it is well worth listening to the entire awesome soundtrack. I wonder what he’ll come up with next.