This week’s fuel comes from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s We Were Eight Years In Power, one of the best books I read last year. His particular ideas about hope, justice, and activism speak to me more deeply than those of any other writer I’ve ever encountered.
“I don’t ever want to lose sight of how short my time is here. And I don’t ever want to forget that resistance must be its own reward, since resistance, at least within the life span of the resisters, almost always fails. I don’t ever want to forget, even with whatever personal victories I achieve, even in the victories we achieve as a people or a nation, that the larger story of America and the world probably does not end well. Our story is a tragedy. I know it sounds odd, but that belief does not depress me. It focuses me. After all, I am an atheist and thus do not believe anything, even a strongly held belief, is destiny. And if tragedy is to be proven wrong, if there really is hope out there, I think it can only be made manifest by remembering the cost of it being proven right. No one–not our fathers, not our police, and not our gods–is coming to save us. The worst really is possible. My aim is to never be caught, as the rappers say, acting like it can’t happen. And my ambition is to write both in defiance of tragedy and in blindness of its possibility, to keep screaming into the waves–just as my ancestors did.”
Additionally, some recent non-book fuel: