May 7, 2018

The mayor of Tallahassee has book recommendations for Kanye


Andrew Gillum, the young, vibrant, exciting mayor of Tallahassee, is a supernova in the otherwise soul-sucking black hole of American politics. The youngest-ever elected member of the Tallahassee City Commission when he was but a moonish twenty-three, he was elected mayor in 2014.

He also has some book recommendations for budding philosopher Kanye West, apparently. As Kirby Wilson writes at the Tampa Bay Times, Gillum recently appeared on Sirius XM’s Make it Plain, and said, “It’s too soon to talk about Kanye. I’m still processing the level of ignorance… There’s a lot of books I need to send this brother.”

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Kanye sent a lot of jaws dropping last week, when he said in a TMZ interview, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years … For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.”

Slavery has a long and disgraceful history in Florida, from the Spanish occupancy through later the US expansion. In 1823, after Florida became a territory of the US, white plantation owners spread quickly through the region, backed by the military, establishing a slave economy, while simultaneously massacring the Seminole Indians whenever they got in the way (see: always).

While Gillum—mayor of a southern capitol with a long, long history of slavery—didn’t expand on which books he’d like to send Kanye, there are just a few that come to mind:




Peter Clark is a former Melville House sales manager.