FINAL PROJECT: Coates Goes Activist


Entitlement. It is mainly used as a word to describe a bratty 20-year old who feeds off their parents and believes that they deserve the entire world in the palm of their hand. Although I wish I could admit that I don’t know someone like this, unfortunately I know many personally and they tend to exist everywhere. The word entitlement used to mean something extremely different in the 1900’s. The power of the people, during this time period, was remained only to white, rich, males and if a person did not have these three qualities life became very difficult for them. I was reading an article for my Philosophy class a couple of weeks ago and surprisingly it caught my attention. None of the materials in Philosophy were interesting to me and ultimately made no sense in my mind. The article I read was called, The Case For Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates, it discussed the tragic discrimination that made it extremely hard for Blacks to do anything. I thought this would be a great topic for discussion since activist media delves into the rights of the people, the use of media to spread awareness, and the information to build upon in spreadable media as mentioned in By Any Media Necessary. Coates presented the case for reparations which meant that someone should pay back the Blacks for what they had endured for years. What mostly sparked my eye was how he used the New Deal reform bill presented by Roosevelt to show the nationwide damage to Blacks even as a form of legislation. The New Deal was a reform to help people with social security and basic needs after the great depression, but the issue with the bill was that it discriminated against farm workers. The majority of farm workers in the 1930’s were Black slaves therefore Roosevelt and the federal government took away help from Blacks in need. Coates uses imagery, emotional filled words, but more importantly factual information to back his claim. One of the most important aspects presented in all of the media activism books this semester was that activist media must provide the population with knowledgeable, powerful, and emotional information about the cause in order to ensure they will get involved. Coates uses all of these aspects to show his readers that Blacks were not only stripped of their rights, but of their basic needs to survive.


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