Why is schoolboy Coates upset about studying the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement every February in school? Why did he much prefer his own study of Malcolm X in hip hop lyrics, books, speech tapes, and other materials? You’ll need to pull together and connect material from pp. 30-37 to answer this question fully.
When coates wasd studying these works of media he couldn’t understand why they praised things that didn’t seem right. He says ““ They seemed to love the man who raped them the women who crushed them love the children who spat on them the terrorists who found them. Why are they showing this to us? Why were only Our Heroes nonviolent? I speak not of the morality of non-violence but of the sense that blacks are in special need of the morality. Back then all I could do was measure these Freedom Lovers by what I knew. What is to say measure them against children pulling out in the 7-Eleven parking lot against parents wielding extension cords and saying and yeah and word what’s up? I judge them against the country I knew which had acquired the land through murder and tamed it under slavery against the country who is Army’s fanned out across the world to extend their dominance. The world the real one was civilization secured and ruled by Savage means. How could the school’s valorize men and women who value Society actively orange? How could they send us into the streets of Baltimore knowing all that they were and then speak of non-violence?” Coates is starting to bring up a conversation of how this world has been built on violence and murders and people that gain their strength from dominance. the heroes in this world today are measured by how much they are Freedom lovers and this country which had acquired the land through murder and tamed it under slavery and that was what this world has been built on.
Coates emphasizes the role reading and writing played in his life in at least two different places in this segment. Pull together that material and explain Coates’s commitment to reading and writing. What adult figures were important to him as he learned to read and write for his own purposes?
For Coates when he was learning to read and write in school learning these things were so much more than learning new skills. He talks about how “ That was exactly how I felt back then. I sense the schools were hiding something dragging us with false morality so that we would see so that we did not ask why for us and only us is the other side of Free Will and free spirit an assault upon our bodies? This is not a hyperbolic concern. When our elders presented school to us they did not present it as a place of High Learning but as a mean of escape from Death and penal warehousing.” School for people in these neighborhoods were more than a place to learn but as an escape from their reality that they were living in and another way to protect themselves from the streets. Learning these new skills helped the students better discipline to their bodies and even though it felt all new and strange to him there was benefits in the end. He questioned himself why he was in this classroom learning things that may not have mattered but it was to protect him from his own reality and what he faced everyday living in baltimore.