Coates and Emotion

Coates dealt with his opposition by gathering all of the evidence in the world relating to African – American’s. From enslavement, to emancipation, to the great migration north, to current day, Coates snared proof after proof of his speculations regarding the White American sentiment towards African-American’s throughout history. I think the most brilliant part of this writing was Coates’ masterful dissection of fear. Fear is something that transcends race, it’s a human emotion that can be felt by anybody, and with the help of testimony, both from blacks and whites who lived through gruesome racism, it became clear why any human being would fear advancing their life in any way during the 20th Century. Coates detailed hopelessness as exquisitely as fear, citing how black kids felt they’d never amount to nothing, and that their future was destined to be bleak. I think when you paint a hopeless, fearful, and even angry portrait of anything, and Coates painted the saddest picture possible by pulling out all of the right facts, it makes the audience empathize with the writer. I also think Coates aimed at his opposition directly. He knows his opposition is a god-loving, military loving, do-no-wrong community. To enlighten this population and rid them of their ignorance he touched on every facet of golden-white American life that blacks have been systemically denied. Blacks were kicked from church for having poor spoken language, blacks were assaulted for wearing their uniform after world war one, blacks were denied housing simply because they were black. Apartment’s were set on fire for housing one black family, scores of families were systemically herded into sub-standard living indirectly by banks that refused to loan to black families. They were denied the American dream. The worst part is banks are still trying to rip money from the same people, pushing them into loans they cannot repay.

I think for my essay I am going to need to capture an emotion to rope my audience into my anger expedition. To do that, I think my point of entry needs to, not be offensive, but be controversial enough draw an emotion that I can dissect. Also, Coates had a world of evidence at his disposal and was able to utilize the same common sense approach we’ve discussed in class. Common sense is hard to disagree with, or it has been in the assigned readings at least, so I think that is the best approach I should follow while drafting my essay.


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