‘I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Apart from the intense – and necessary – political observations about Kanye West’s identification with Trump, what moves me about this piece is Coates’ relationship with music – one of my favourite topics (of which more later). His memories of seeing Michael Jackson as a kid opens this piece with two beautiful rhythmic paragraphs which evoke childhood and that sense of wonder of seeing something culturally important for the first time. He also reflects on his own fame – post the publication of Between the World and Me, which became a bestseller. 

First published in The Atlantic, May 2018, and available online here