As I was reading Gates' essay, his statement, "Race... pretends to be an objective term of classification, when in fact it is a dangerous trope," stuck out to me quite a bit when I was reflecting on the essay. Racism throughout history was and still is just that-- a trope that people use for generalizations, comparisons, and reasoning for arguments. I have never learned about the racism in literature before, so seeing how Gates introduces his point on demonstrating "the emblem that links racial alienation with economic alienation" through literature and the reading/writing abilities of Africans showed how such tropes are perpetuated.
Something else I thought of was what the response to the rise in African reading and writing was. He mentions that it soon became illegal to educate them, but he doesn't quite cover how it affected that argument of blacks being completely incapable of doing so. He mentions how the punishments for blacks were greater, but we don't see how it changes thoughts of blacks and literacy. Overall, I thought his stance on the struggles in racism through language was quite interesting and I like that he addressed the core of the issue as being tropes perpetuated through language.