Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker

Jelani Cobb

The New Yorker

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Recent:
  • Unknown
Past:
  • The New Yorker
  • Playboy
  • The Guardian
  • The New Republic

Past articles by Jelani:

The End of Affirmative Action

The scale of what has been lost is difficult to assess in the moment. But not entirely impossible. → Read More

Hip-Hop at Fifty: An Elegy

Jelani Cobb looks back at Grandmaster Flash, A Tribe Called Quest, and other artists while also discussing the evolution of struggles facing young Black men. → Read More

Ron DeSantis Battles the African American A.P. Course—and History

The state’s intent seems to be to provide white Floridians, from a young age, with a version of history that they can be comfortable with, regardless of whether it’s true. → Read More

Brittney Griner and the Role of Race in Diplomacy

Griner’s release recalls the lessons of the effort to free Robert Goodman, an African American Navy navigator, from Syria. → Read More

Why I Quit Elon Musk’s Twitter

Jelani Cobb writes about his recent decision to quit Elon Musk’s Twitter, a social-media platform that once represented the new frontier of digital democracy. → Read More

The Enduring Power of Trumpism

No matter what becomes of Donald Trump, the forces of intolerance, racism, and belligerence he harnessed in American politics will persist. → Read More

When Migrants Become Political Pawns

Governor DeSantis appeared to be attempting to troll people whose magnanimity, he seemed to believe, is inversely proportional to the extent to which a given problem has an impact on their own lives. → Read More

What It Took for Biden to Give His “Soul of the Nation” Speech

Jelani Cobb writes about the aftermath of a speech given by President Joe Biden in which the President called out a Republican Party driven by the former President Donald Trump and his ardent supporters as a threat to the country. → Read More

Herschel Walker’s Deficits Are Not the Only Cause for Concern

Jelani Cobb writes that Walker’s Senate candidacy is a clear example of the warping effect that Donald Trump has had on the Republican Party nationally. → Read More

Would Showing Graphic Images of Mass Shootings Spur Action to Stop Them?

Jelani Cobb writes about the renewed debate over whether to publish images of the victims of mass shootings, as a tactic for shocking the public into taking action, in the wake of the murder of nineteen children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas. → Read More

The Atrocity of American Gun Culture

After mass shootings like those in Uvalde and Buffalo, pro-gun officials say they don’t want to politicize tragedy. But the circumstances that allow for the mass murder of children are inherently political. → Read More

Ron DeSantis and the Unlearned Lessons of the G.O.P.’s Culture War

Jelani Cobb writes about Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, who has taken a stance against Disney, and about the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and the broader culture wars playing out between Republican leaders and the major companies that operate in their states. → Read More

Martin Luther King, Jr.,’s History Lessons

King understood the nation’s challenges as part of a continuous narrative, Jelani Cobb writes. Today, a narrow view of America’s past could imperil its future. → Read More

Justice for Ahmaud Arbery

Jelani Cobb writes about the verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case, which found the three men who pursued and killed the unarmed Black man guilty of felony homicide and related charges. → Read More

The Power of Dave Chappelle’s Comedy

He has always understood the risk, in riffing on the racial absurdities of American culture, of reinforcing rather than undermining them. The absence of concern of this kind about the impact of “The Closer” is striking. → Read More

Why Republicans Are Still Recounting Votes

The point of the so-called audits is not so much to delegitimize the past election as it is to normalize unnecessary reviews of future ones—including, perhaps, a 2024 race in which Trump’s name may be on the ballot. → Read More

Derek Chauvin’s Trial and George Floyd’s City

Although many Americans see the former police officer’s conviction as just closure, many in Minneapolis view it as the beginning of a larger battle. → Read More

The Republican Party, Racial Hypocrisy, and the 1619 Project

Jelani Cobb writes about Senator Tim Scott and his role in the G.O.P.’s “anti-anti-racism” position, about efforts to regulate the teaching of history and of the 1619 Project, and about U.N.C.’s decision not to grant Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure. → Read More

George Floyd, the Tulsa Massacre, and Memorial Days

Jelani Cobb writes about the confluence this year of the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, the centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and Memorial Day, and the trouble with commemorating trauma. → Read More

The Shooting of Daunte Wright and the Meaning of George Floyd’s Death

Jelani Cobb writes about the shooting death of Daunte Wright at the hands of a police officer and explores what has changed and what has not since the slaying of George Floyd, last spring. → Read More