Tanya Coke is a lawyer, writer, and philanthropy executive at the Ford Foundation. She speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about “Brother Love,” her essay from Issue 19 of The Common magazine. Coke discusses both the beautiful and the difficult parts of writing about her own family, the process of being a writer and an artist, and what it means to helm the Ford Foundation’s Gender, Race & Ethnic Justice division.
This is the first installment of an online series highlighting work by Black authors published in The Common. To read The Common’s statement in support of the nationwide protests against anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and police brutality, click here.
Scrawny was my first thought. I’d babysat enough by then to place his age at just shy of a year. As my father handed him to me, the baby arched his back in protest, his chicken butt threatening to escape his diaper completely. I could tell that a man had fastened it, because the tape on the sides was all askew.
“Come, say hello to your brother,” Daddy said, smiling.