Review: We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To listen to Coates contextualize eight essays published over the course of President Obama's run for and performance of President is powerful, insightful, and damming. Powerful in the ways in which Coates pulls together the strands of history, policy, culture, and politics to explain in different ways how white supremacy has been so woven into the fabric of American culture that it is nearly impossible to extract. That he shows this through the lens of the first African American president's candidacy and terms is what makes it damming because, in hindsight, it seems so clear how we got from Obama to Trump. Coates insights into the portrayal of Michelle Obama, reparations, birtherism, and the rise of Trump put words to the growing thrum of hate and white resentment that has been present before, during, and after Obama's presidency. It's a must-read for anyone trying to understand how race permeates our culture, our politics, and our leadership.

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