Shred of Truth: Antinomy and Synecdoche in the Work of Ta-Nehisi Coates
In this essay, from a Marxist perspective, we aim to examine the conceptual underpinnings of Coates’ analysis of race and racism, principally in his award-winning book but also in his well-known articles for The Atlantic. We hope to clarify the differences between Coates’ anti-racist (essentially liberal-nationalist) analysis and a Marxist (class) analysis of racism. We examine several antinomies that run throughout Coates’ work: class versus race, white freedom versus Black subordination, voluntarism versus determinism and essentialism versus anti-essentialism.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).