Sunday September 30 is the birthday of Ta-Nehisi Coates — one of the greatest living writers of essays and nonfiction!
Whether you love or loathe his work, it’s hard to argue that he is one of the most thought-provoking essayists writing today. His atheistic naturalism, for instance, challenges us as Christians to take the Incarnation, and our bodies, more seriously.
In honor of his birthday, we offer the following list of eight of the finest Ta-Nehisi Coates essays from THE ATLANTIC!
Published: May 9, 2016
To put books into English, the vulgar tongue, the language of the masses, was once radical. Teaching literature written in English is a recent innovation, historically speaking, and was long regarded in the more renowned institutions as a lowering of standards. It is still the case in some countries that the work of living writers is excluded from the curriculum, perhaps a sign of lingering prejudice against the vernacular, against what people say and think now, in the always disparaged present. In America this scruple is gone and forgotten. Writers not yet dead, in many cases only emerging, are read and pondered, usually under a rubric of some kind that makes them representative of gender or ethnicity or region, therefore instances of some perspective or trend often of greater interest to the professor than to any of the writers.
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IMAGE CREDIT: Eduardo Montes-Bradley – Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com