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tv   Book Discussion on Between the World and Me  CSPAN  December 29, 2015 12:08am-1:09am EST

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all the right questions, the kinds of questions that you need to in real time. it seemed like a power that i really needed. i wasn't writing many poems that were directly about my mother's illness at the time but i think that thinking about memory and again taking about looking at the right thing in the right way they could tell you something you didn't think you knew. all of that was really comforting, grounding for me. when i think back to that time i also realized that the kind of devotion that i felt and what language to use in a poem was probably a really wonderful alternative to the language of faith that i had grown up with. i was struggling to find that kind of comfort with a believe
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especially in thinking about the kinds of freedoms that you are eager for and individuation that still happening actively at that time. it made me hungry for a kind of distance from the person i had been as a child or my mother's child at home and some have poetry love me to take different kinds of steps into a sense of who i was and what was important to me. >> do you ever surprise yourself by writing up. >> guest: yeah. ideally that's the goal for any poem. if it doesn't happen i feel like maybe the poem isn't done yet or the poem isn't ready to be written. my last book of poems was thinking a lot about my father who passed away about seven years ago and i didn't know what i was after. i just knew that i sat down to write and i wanted to be able to
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dwell on aspects of our relationship and my memory that would make me feel closer to her. and one thing that i discovered an probably this is connected to some of the things i discovered in writing this memoir was that i was looking for a version of god a figure that's been in my life publicly since conception because god is a touchstone in my family. some say no matter what i do it won't go away. i wasn't seeking to pry myself from that relief but rather finding a way to feel confident that the figures to whom i had entrusted my father was sufficiently large. i think the figure in the sistine chapel didn't -- at that point in my life. i was really fascinated by what
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i could comprehend and thinking about space as a literal place, thinking about some of the images from the hubble space telescope and how they have given the visual vocabulary that we are somehow a part of. i wanted to try and mary my private sense of the leaf in my private sense of grief for something large and permanent and unknowable as that. so that was a big surprise. i didn't think that was why i was writing poems. i'm curious about what the next set of poems will yield. >> host: where does the title "ordinary light" come from? >> guest: is looking for a long time for a title for this book and a colleague of mine said that sometimes the title can just come from a quiet phrase within a book.
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i was going back and rereading the book and i decided to stop listening for these huge log markers which was i dashed huge loud markers which was what i was trying to do and thought about the subtler feelings and the meditations that stems from. there's a moment in the book where he remembered eating out in an orchard at night with two friends from high school who had also lost their mother. we were out there looking up at the night sky and listening to the night noises and trying to figure out what we believe in who we were the mother and girls. there was this wish in my mind to be able to run back and just be ordinary house that's intact.
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everyone is there and everyone is still present. that image seemed to be so much about what the book was trying to recollect. if i look at it from the outside i think it might also have to do with the small space that we occupy for short trade of our lives with the family and the central others that make us who we are. and how temporary that is. either glaring brightness that steers your mind in a different land yields these other kinds of clarity for the dark spaces. >> host: there's a. max toward the end of your
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mother's life where she sat up in bed essentially and said i know tracy is going to be a writer. why did you include that in your book? >> guest: it was a moment that frightened me when it happened and it also made me hopeful. there's a strange event because my mother was heavily medicated at that time and sometimes she would say things in the media say i'm just confused. this is the medication, just ignore that. on this night she was kind of muttering and said what's going on, who are you talking to? she said there were some angels talking to me and one of them said you were going to become a writer. i felt not worried that this might not be rational thought. i felt myself in the presence of something very tremendous and terrifying for that reason.
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thinking if it is true that at the end of our lives the world that we now and the world that and the world that we are about to enter or return to maybe porous. what is there to ask what is there watching and also my mother reflects on this vision she was having which reflected to me a few things. one, that she might be really going and she was dying. i also was living in the denial that maybe this isn't real. maybe everything will change and everything will be fine. so it kind of made me have to accept that she was accepting that her life was ending and that would have to force me to accept as well.
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to be faithful to her sense of life and also i guess it also meant that may be someone was telling her to stop worrying about your child. this is what will happen and she will be okay. that course of firming of wish that i had for myself. all of those feelings terrified me in conjunction with one another. it was something that i needed to return to an dwell on in language. i think so much of what i is a writer and doing is trying to find ways that language can help me understand what happens. maybe what has happened or maybe what is happening in terms of my understanding of what that means and what i should be moving
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toward as a person, as an individual. language helps me calibrate my sense of experience and it helps me clarify myself. so coming back to memories like that i think it was really a matter of trying to come to grips with this thing that happened and that maybe couldn't face head-on in real life. >> host: what is your goal is a professor of creative writing? >> guest: i want to give my students access to the kinds of tools that will help them interrogate the world as they know it and i don't know that there is much more than that. i think that's a really nuanced task in both reading closely and reading differently than one might read in a literature class in my classroom we are looking at craft space choices that
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writers make and trying to say using this metaphor what possibilities are being opened up and it is the right or take advantage of that and what is yielded and what do we as readers feel or experience or come to recognized as a result? i think that the writers wish is to come into what feels like real contact with his or her material and because of the nature of the time it's either material that happened in the past that we are trying to return to and understand differently or material that has happened at a great removed and we might not have literal access to that we are curious about. that idea on that takes you to another geographical location or another person's experience that is remote from you. but then there are whole regions
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of the imagination. sometimes we are writing about rings that were real at all or an offensive that might also be important to question. i just want to give my students this money tools that might happen different kinds of material. >> host: tracy k. smith won the pulitzer in 2012 for book of poetry, life on mars. she has written a memoir, "ordinary light". here's the cover. you are watching booktv on c-span2. we are on location at princeton university.
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>> there are republican rep party has been beaten in the election. growers coming into office the mckinley has been the governor of ohio seeing the country descend into a deep depression and republicans take the -- election is going to to be theirs pretty wants wants to be the nominee but he's not the front-runner. he's not the favorite of the party bosses.
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>> now the fit 2015 national book award winner sub pipe with this book "between the world and me". this is an hour.
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>> my name is theodore hamm and i want to welcome you to the college. next year will be our 100th anniversary. [applause] is clearly one of the most anticipated exciting events that we have had in this century. i just want to say very quickly that one of the great things about brooklyn is that one day you can be a delivery man and before you know it you can become a world-famous author and that's who we have here tonight. it's my pleasure to bring up jessica bagnulo the co-owner of green eyed bookstore who's going to introduce tonight's event. jessica. [applause] city macadamia brine. i am jessica bagnulo as ted said
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when we are pleased tonight to be hosting ta-nehisi coates in brooklyn and his book "between the world and me" going to be speaking with james bennett for an excellent evening. we are so grateful for this partnership beside joseph's college which allows us to bring you the this event in a burqa voices series and has a lot more seating capacity than a bookstore and fulton street. we have had a great fall season with jonathan franzen and patty smith and looking for more great events this fall. we have kristin hersh to talk about her memoir a big chestnut on october 21 the creators of the podcast welcome to knightdale on november 12. you can get the details and ticket information on our web site greenlight a few little housekeeping things. first please silence your cell phones or electronic devices and now there's no photography during the event that if you purchase a ticket to this event
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just the party received your copy of "between the world and me." additional copies as well as other titles by coates are for sale throughout the evening. there are no books on a snipe at all copies of "between the world and me" have been pre-signed by ta-nehisi coates. please also note some index cards were passed around before we started. if you have a question you would like to have coates answer please write it on the card. we will be collecting those and we will select some that will be answered at the end of the event. if you would like a card and you didn't get one would just wave your hand and we will bring a card. please note that this event is being recorded by c-span member tv as well as livestream to saint joseph students here on campus. now let me introduce the speaker. i have this great introduction written and ta-nehisi coates said you are not allowed to say that. her interviewer is james bennett is a president editor of the atlantic that he was speaking --
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be speaking with ta-nehisi coates was a national correspondent with the atlantic. he is the author of "between the world and me" and he is or isn't received a macarthur fellowship. the book is an recently nominated for a national book award. [applause] and we just found out this evening evening to both just won the kirkus prize tonight. [applause] for the rest of the evening i'm going to left ta-nehisi for himself so please join me in welcoming james bennett and ta-nehisi coates. [applause] >> hello everybody. thank you jess again thank you
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ted, thank you st. joseph's and greenlight and thanks to all of you for being here and your interest in ta-nehisi's work. i think you want to mig a statement to. >> a statement. this is my manifesto. i wanted to talk a little bit about why i wrote "between the world and me" and today before i signed those 900 books i stopped at book court and i signed nearly 100 bucks. that was awesome. there was a young lady who was the book buyer do i remembered 20 years ago and she worked at a bookstore called vertical books and in d.c.. i worked there for one summer in the summer of 1995, literally 20
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years ago. i was a horrible bookseller, and an awful, awful bookseller. you can only love books so much and be a great bookseller because if you love love books and you are deeply adjusted and books in fact deeply interested in doing the things books do you tend not to pay attention to things like shoplifters. i wasn't very good. i did at that summer biking i had a 30% discount at the store and i probably spent 30% of my check on books just buying books. i was -- it was so good to see sophie, that was the other lady's name. i went upstairs and i was looking to did -- of the books they had there and i saw this book which was so important to me the book of poetry called the country between us. i might have been 18 years old. i at been surrounded by this
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great community and carolyn for shea is such a beautiful writer. she wrote in such a way that i didn't understand everything that she was saying but the pain, the tanks come and i have to say the violence now reminded me of something that i deeply deeply identified with and she wrote it in such a way that i would read poetry and i would walk away and i would not understand what she was saying but i think about it you know when i would go to bed thinking about it. i would wake up thinking about it and what the weeks later and even though i didn't understand what she was writing about i would think about it. i'm going to trouble you guys by reading a quick poem of hers. i would say this will all make sense in one second. i promise you, not just taking three. also i can advocate for poetry
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by the way. [applause] it does not have enough funds in the world. if i could run a school i would make everybody write poetry for the first year just to master the art of writing decent and powerful sentences and pungent sentences. carolyn spent time as a young person in central america and eastern europe in a period of time where the world is being turned upside down. this is just -- when i was teaching at m.i.t. in writing it with a sinus tonight as a class class of a could understand sentences. this was called the colonel about her encounter with an unnamed military official in an unnamed central american country. what you have heard is true. i was in his house. his wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. his daughter filed her nails. his son went out for the night.
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if there were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. the moons along bear on its black corridor over the house. the television was a cop show. it was in english. broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop a man's kneecaps from his legs and in the windows there were gradings like this in the crispers. we had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold belt was on table for calling the maid. the maid brought salt, a type of bread. i was asked how i enjoyed the country. there was a brief commercial in spanish. his wife took everything away. there was some talk about how difficult he had become to govern. the parents said hello on the terrace, the colonel told them to shut up and pushed himself from the table. my friend said to me with his
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eyes, say nothing. the colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. he spilled many human years on the table. they were like dried peach halves. there is no other way to say this. he took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. he came alive there. i'm tired of fooling around he said. as for the rights of anyone tell your people they can go -- themselves. he held the last of this wine in the air. something for your poetry he said. some cop a scrap of his voice. some on the floor were pressed to the ground. so i read this and i have always thought about fertility and the poem and a line stuck with me among all the imagery and all the detail was there is no other
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way to say this. there is no kind way. there is no hopeful way. there is no way to make people feel good about themselves at the end of the story to say this. what i got out of the poetry in general and what i got out of my entire study of poetry is that it is the job of the writer to say things in truth the land direct ways and in ways that maybe leave us and puzzling places that leave us despairing sometimes and ways that make us sad sometimes. one of the most probably pointed questions i get about the book in one of the things that people raise about the book all the time is that it is not hopeful enough. it does not inspire black people. it does not leave black people with the way out in a way forward. and maybe it doesn't. i think think i would have to argue about that but let's leave
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it at that. maybe it doesn't let i wanted to talk to you guys about the defense of writing and the defense of literature and the defense of art and the right to create and act and create a piece of art simply out of a desire to reflect reality, simply out of a desire to show something, to portray one's experience of the most beautiful way you possibly can. i just think the desire to write something that makes people feel good at the end of the day, desire to write something that is a bedtime story, desire to give you something that allows you to talk to children and that night. even a desire to write something that inspires people to be better people. that is a strict motivation so far away from what i wrote this book. i wrote this book to create a
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beautiful work of art that says something that represents a particular time that i was them and my relationship to my son and ultimately that represented something about my relationship to my country. i don't know why i felt moved to tell you that tonight but i did so we can proceed with the program now. [applause] >> i sort of feel like you covered everything. [laughter] >> i'm going to ask a few questions and as jessica said as ask some of your questions once the cards,. i thought we would explore a couple of themes in the book and ask you to talk about yourself a little bit more. i felt the family had to start one with was the one that you
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just invoked which is the theme of violence. if you wouldn't mind reading a bit of your own work to start us off and pick up with that passage. >> sure. this is the beginning of my political consciousness and i am about 12 or 13 years old. i am becoming aware that some of the troubles that i experienced in my neighborhood are somehow tied to greater complex and greater problems in the country i live in. i've been told that all my life. i've been told that all my life i am beginning to see it for myself and not see this something my parents tell me. now the questions began burning in me. the materials for research were all around me in the form of books assembled your grandfather i'm addressing my son here. he was working at howard university is a research
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librarian in the research center one of the largest collections of africana and the world. your grandfather loved books and loves them to this day and they were all over the house books about black people by black people, for black people spilling off shelves in the living room boxed up in the basement. dad had been a local in the black panther party. i read through of death books about the panthers in a stash of old party newspapers. i was attracted to their guns because the guns seemed honest. the guns seemed to address this country which invented the streets that secured them with the police in its primary language, violence or that compared the panthers to the heroes given to me by the schools men and women who struck me as ridiculous and contrary to everything i knew. every february my classmates and i were herded into assemblies for ritual review of the civil rights movement. our teachers urged us to look at the example of freedom marches,
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freedom riders and freedom summers seem like a mother could not pass without a series of films dedicated to the glories of being beaten on camera. the black people in these films seem to love the worse things in life, love the dogs dog's favorite children apart, the tear gas that quad clutter their lungs the fire hoses that tore off their clothing and tumble them into the streets. they seem to love the man who raped them, the women who curse them all of the children who spat on them to terrorists who bombed them. why are they showing this to us? why were only our hero's nonviolent? i speak not of the morality of nonviolence but the sense that blacks are in the special needs of this morality. back then all i could do was imagine these freedom lovers by what i knew which is to say i measure them against children pulling out in seven 7-eleven parking lots against parents wielding extension cords and
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what's up now? i judge them against the country knew which had acquired the land of murder and painted under slavery against the country whose armies fanned out across the world to extend their dominion. the world, the real one was civilization secured and ruled by savage means that how could the schools valorize men and women whose value is societies actively scorn. how could they send us into the streets of altamonte doing all they knew and then speak of nonviolent? >> maybe you should give a little context to this. you write a lot about the sources of violence in the book and i think this is the realization he came to later that his chairman bayh fear. >> right. i think in our current political dialogue there is a separation between what people call the
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police violence which we are very concerned right now about and people calling it by the wrong name and the notions of these two things are separate from each other. when i wrote "between the world and me" and when i wrote my previous book i had no fear of talking about the violence that was around me in my neighborhood and what people consider to be black-on-black violence. that's a part of the oppression and i think when people look at african-americans in the neighborhood there is a way in which they look at our mannerisms, the way we balk, the way we talk and the way we have pose and what they see as rage. what they see is this need to express power grade they see machismo and that's probably what i saw as a young person to. by the tie was older and by the time i could look at young boys at about the age i was, i could
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see something else and what i saw was here. the violence i talk about the violence that enables the product of that fear and when i wrote "between the world and me" that was really important to say. it was really important to alter this narrative of rage which is in itself quite fear by the way. it is the shadow of white fear. i was concerned with black fear. when you do that you can soften the people. we began to have humanity then. we are so often portrayed as invulnerable, not being scared, not having the same good things for anybody else would have but we were afraid and we are afraid great i just thought that was really important to say. >> it's a pretty powerful thing you say that as a child when you
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were shepherded into these movies the civil rights movement struck you as ridiculous. i don't know if you included king in that list at the time. >> i did at the time. >> how do you think of them now? >> i think of them is supremely heroic and incredibly heroic. i think of access to a kind of morality that i don't and i think a lot of that is because i don't have a routing in the church. even the logic of it, for instance i think a lot of that is rooted in the afterlife that i don't share. i think a lot of it is rooted in the notion of the supreme god of justice and morality which i don't particularly share. but i think in spite of that you can't watch the end of the selma campaign and see dr. king give
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that speech should not be terribly terribly moved. he cannot watch the last speech he gave before he died the next day. he is sick and so tired and literally falling away from the microphone. these are people who willingly day in and day out gave up their bodies. but their lives, which is to mind -- my mind all you have. put their lives on the line for a world that they would not necessarily see. and at the same time i think where is the country feel celebratory about that, i feel incredible anger at that because in my mind that never should have had to happen. when i see president obama and this is not like president obama
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so it's not anything personal about him but when i see the president going to selma and commemorating bloody sunday deposits me because i feel like the president had the government doing its job at the time bloody sunday would have never been necessary. it never should have happened in the first place. martin luther king was killed and the voting rights act and the civil rights act, the housing act to make it okay that he was killed to me. i don't feel that his death is redeemed by those things. it isn't even so much the nonviolence which i get. it's a tactic which i get no but it is the celebration of it by people that don't necessarily embrace those themselves predict when that bothersome. >> what do you think about the
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relationship between violence and political progress in american history? we were talking about james baldwin last night and one of the things he wrote was that heroism and violence were generally linked to american history. >> that's it. there is no other way to say this, i don't think you can point to political progress in terms of black people without looking at violence. there are people who say that in a kind of alger at chico or ask berger bread of those seau way. i don't mean that. maybe that's not just true of black people but true of any state anywhere. as i say in the book it's not ice cream socials and picnics that emancipation for african-americans in this country came. it was through great violence
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and part of the way the war was one of the to gut crucial was by enlisting former slaves to do great violence against the slave master. and backward to get away too. that's how emancipation came. here's one way of looking at the civil rights movement that focuses in on the protest and i think the protests are really important that you can't really separate the history of the civil rights movement from world war ii and from american seeing racism taken to its most legal it -- lethal end. you can't separate it from the cold war. you can't separate the freedom rides from bobby kennedy watching the freedom riders and saying, is talking about democracy in this embarrasses us. this has to be dealt with. and folks during the civil rights movement knew that. and so i don't take any joy out of this but it's hard for me to see moments of medical progress
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for african-americans in this country and to separate them from violence. again i don't mean that in any sort of tarak -- heroic or braggadocio way at all. violence is part of politics i think. >> in that context to understand the violence that we saw in baltimore and ferguson over the course of the last year? >> i don't know yet. i don't know yet. i don't want to say this because i don't know it to be true but i think it is possible, i think it's possible that the violence is part of why the officers ended up being prosecuted. i think that is possible. we know very much that they are sick, and myth that the rights that have been the 1960s resulted in nothing and lyndon
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johnson when he passed the housing act he talks about the rights. there is political action that results from a sort of thing. that doesn't make writing a good thing. anyone who makes climate change a good thing or anyone to make some great good thing. writing is something that happens when you put people under enormous political pressure or when your team doesn't win the national championship. [laughter] we haven't had too many rights at howard. but writing is the thing that people do. when they feel their back is up against the wall and people often respond to that. it's a statement of fact and not a statement of values to if i were out there, i certainly would not urge anybody to do any
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sort of violence. on the moral level i don't think it's correct and i don't think the destruction other people's stuff is correct and i don't think it can never be justified and the potential can ever be -- and use an individual have the moral responsibility to deal with that. at the same time but i hear people who have power to have some amount of stake in the kind of violence that is really characterized of them are from that time as a child and before that, stand up in front of podiums, gannott bothers me. it really greatly bothers me. you know, so there is that. we are still in it though. i will have more developed notions but we are still in it. >> this is probably a question about your method as a writer and a little bit. i'd love to hear you you talk if you would about how you came to write this book. you said to an interview over
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the summer that one of the wonderful things in this book of the ever ready it is it's partly the story of you becoming conscious as you put it in stages growing up and howard and after that but despite all of your reading and all of your thinking and reporting he said as of 2007 in 2008 you would not have written this book and you are radicalized in the years after that. what is it that happened that brought it about? >> will you know i was fortunate to be hired by james bennet. >> that's not what i was trying to get it. [laughter] >> this is actually true. >> i was not fishing for that answer. [laughter] >> when i was hired i began writing for a magazine i think that i was interested in ideas and interested in notions and
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putting its footprint on things and that allowed me to experience what i thought about things. the second thing by primary job was to fill a blog space with thoughts and notions and i took that as an excuse to go back and study and read something than to write about what i was reading. people would comment and they would read the stuff i was riding i was writing and they would comment and say you should read this and check out that. i had always been interested in history but probably the past seven years has been pretty good really intense for me for the amount of reading i did. african-americans who aren't public and are somehow affiliated with politics carry this burden of having to the uplifted, having to say something positive to the youth in the most then possible way of that definition by the way. historians have no such burden. that's not how the stories are judged. they write their work in the
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status of his most people don't read it anyway so they just write it. i don't care, it's not like i have an impact anyway. but that frees them. i always say this but it's like people say my work is hopeless, my work is pessimistic. you should spend some time in the history department. back when i was writing those books i had an audio book with me and i'm -- i'm only a few chapters out. it's a the history of the 14th century in europe. we were talking about the black death, the hundred year war and the schism in the church. you think what's happening on the streets of baltimore use talk to people taking petty offense and challenging folks did joust duels with battle
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axes. they literally did have gang fights. you get 50 of your poison ivy 50 of my boys and will mete out here and do this. they called the champions. it's really the same thing. it's no different then use that to my sneakers and you said this to my girl. it's the same kind of language. this is not up -- uplifting material. but it's deeply enlightening material. you feel like a normal -- no more about the world. that in and of itself is a beautiful thing because to me and again maybe this is in the absence of religion, i have accepted you know that my life is precious. all life is precious and can be snuffed out at any moment and that can be it. the time that i have here i just want to understand as much as i can. to understand it is to me in and of itself a gift.
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i had this great trade at the atlantic where i spend a lot of time trying to understand things that put me in a good position when it came time to write because its like again having this prominence you are expected to say certain things that the people in the back of my head talk very differently about the world. i make statements like i will say i have some doubts so i would not be surprised if white supremacy was what this country for the entirety of the lifespan. horrors, how can you say that lacks i say listen to pull 100 historians who study race and asked them if they would be surprised by that. i'm living in france right now in france has been dogged by anti-semitism for 1000 years or something like that.
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am i taking too long? josetta questions, okay. [laughter] >> but i'm just saying that period. that period i think it changes your angle. i think it's switched my orientation quite a bit. >> do you think we can? you were talking about the way work because it's better than any writer i know. this unbelievable job of connecting with what's happening today with what has happened over a long period of time and you are traveling back and forth constantly between narratives of what we see around us and what you see around us and links to the recent past. from your study of history you say there are lots of reasons
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and a lot of it is hopeless but do you see areas where we have managed to escape or recover? >> obviously 50 years ago we could not have had an african-american president. i think what that means is we are prepared to have a society where african-americans with hard work talent and a lot of luck achieve great things i think we are okay with that right now. that is our progress. we obviously don't have enslavement anymore. that's gone. but this goes back to your earlier question. when you think about how do we get there, i see people getting killed. even whatever progress there was great violence. and what does that mean about her fate and what does it mean
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about society in general? what does that mean about human societies period? i don't know. >> thank you for these. i would go to the audience questions. the first one is a good one. do you think between the world has had a -- "between the world and me" has had a bigger impact on the world or your son and do you wish it were the other way were the other way around? luft. >> it hasn't had much of an impact on my son. the book is written as a letter to him but nothing is actually new to him. everything in here is pretty much stuff that i have said to him so it's had no impact on him. he has read the book several times. okay, daddy rights. [laughter] he likes the book and says it's a good book. what about that comic book though?
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[applause] i can't judge what impact it's had on the world. >> you did a little bit of this at the top. do you have any advice for students and young people who want to do what you do? >> yes, yes, yes, read, read, write, write, read and repeat. that's really the job. i think you shouldn't think too much about getting published. if you get published that's great and it's a lot easier now. make a lot about getting better. avoid any trappings of lammers. avoid any ambition towards glamour. get adjusted to the loneliness and misery and the horribleness of sitting by yourself and facing a blank page. you can adjust yourself to that
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there are also beautiful things about, out of long time after. [laughter] but they will come. they will come. but i think you really have to adjust yourself to this sort of almost spartan existence of being a writer. i'm probably not the best friend i could be largely because of where my commitments are. you'll find yourself having to sacrifice that i think. don't drink too much. i mean this is real. it's not moral advice. this is because writing is the job and it's a thing that has to get done. if you are out until 2:00 in the morning and you are not getting up until 2:00 in the afternoon you have lost time for practicing aircraft. don't go on drugs. avoid drugs probably. again it's not a moral argument.
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but the sanctity and the space if your mind is very important when you're writing. if you want to do a bunch of drugs and drink, go do something else. that's fine but if you're going to be a writer you're minding your clarity and your vision is so important. for me, i actually found and again this sounds overly moral but i actually found monogamy of having a child to be crucial. it's rooted me and disciplined me and put me in a place. i could not go out and do some things that people my age did. my son was born when i was 24 and i couldn't do a lot of a lot of things to some of my friends in her 20s were doing but it actually meant that i had more time to write. ..
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>> >> this is one of the books to help clarify things for me. americans generally believed the of problem in terms of racism that since you have
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several groups that do not get along. does one have more power than the other? if we could just get the group's to be a long it will be okay. it is the theory of race. it is in our vocabulary as racial relations. then everything is okay. racial discrimination if we can just stop doing those without a specific race that everything will be okay. racism comes after the race exist you we're doing something but that exist already it is obvious. that is built on the notion that the blacks are a race of people that cannot of
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africa and agents americans cannot of asia and laypeople lough kim bravura. and increasingly has been taken latinas originated in the past 50 years or so. i don't know. [laughter] it just happened. they became another race. if they could get along then that is the problem it is the notion that race is that parents because they cannot get along. but that is not how history works. there is no coherent definition of race whether white or black that you can man tate -- maintain.
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i am considered as a black person. if i were in louisiana in 1750 i would not be considered that. if i was in brazil i may check another blocked in south africa i may check colored we do when irish people came to this country or released they were viewed as very degrees of white. rigo there was a political process with these groups of people that became white but it was a bad it was okay with their rival. even different races by which i read some have darker skin hailing from sub-saharan africa because interaction of their skin
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but throughout history that always is of the relationship it is right now. to read the 14th or 15th century that primary threat of europeans, the of the turks or muslims? that is part of being an christiandom. so if fewer eighth member you did not consider yourself black. this is a modern invention s buick and for folks to be carried across oceans and there was the needed to you justify the labor.
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you could see the first coming in and then ends -- mixing with the intelligence service. in to relieve there are no laws against this all of that decade later. but then of what i am trying to get you to see if it was ted doesn't think. is not the word of god for. this is evade decision policymakers him how he.
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>> the leatherleaf at stake held with this book be
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different if you had a daughter? [laughter] >> that is my a river -- reflection of my senator have a daughter i cannot help that. >> now you're living in paris. are you going to read about blacks there? >> the sometimes it is a harder definition of a minority. [laughter] unless it is suppressive. but in general


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