Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Beautiful Struggle, Chapter 4

[The Beautiful Struggle]

In chapter 4 of The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, “But seeing that handle among the books of glorious Africa, I knew why I could never be Javonne or Pete, that my name was a nation, not a target, not something for teachers to trip over but the ancient Nubians and the glorious Egyptians of the 25th” (112). At this moment, he discovers for himself the true meaning of his name, thus gaining a sense of pride.

How did you respond to Coates's growing sense of cultural pride from that moment or somewhere else in the chapter? Why or how so?


Anonymous said...

I felt it was great that Coates was now feeling proud of his name. he now felt a sense of strength from learning his name's lineage and was now focused on not being helpless or afraid. he was now motivated to express his opinions and learn more of what his father was grooming him to become. -Stephen K.

Collis T. said...

To see Ta-Nehisi to be transformed from an intelligent yet cravenly young man who lacked social tenactiy, to a still intelligent but more confident and finding fiends was refreshing. It is important as a young man and especially so as a young black man to be intelligent, self assured, and strong. Tana though he clearly encountered a paradigm shift as well as behavioral changes retained his status of consciousness and did not succumb to the appeal of the thug lifestyle but refrained from being cowardly finding the balance which produces a respectable man. Evidence of his changes can be seen in the passage where he references the deities of the yoruba people in contrast to his rap expressions on pg.112 "My arms were bigger my voice was deeper ancestors walked with me and there in my hands behold Shangos glowing axe." Tana is also making the transition to high school and shows intelligence and greater mental depth as he ages showing that he may be ready for higher education.

Unknown said...

In the beginning of the book, it seemed like Ta- Nehisi was lost growing up in the city. It seemed like he was easily influenced by the things that he saw going on in the black community.
However, in this Chapter, I feel like he found himself through rap. Sometimes people have to find things that interest them in order to gain self identity and pride. He took rap and accumulated knowledge for inspirations. I liked how he found something to be passionate about and was able to relate that to learning about himself and making it more interesting to himself.

Unknown said...

I saw in the characterization of Ta-Nehisi, myself. When I was younger, I wasn't looking for the Knowledge, but I did always want to be a "cool kid". Te-Nehisi and i found "the way" around the same age. We both gained consciousness at the same age, and so i felt like i related to him a lot.