All tickets for this event are sold out. However, we will be selling standby tickets, space provided, the night of the event. We will begin handing out standby numbers at the Benaroya Box Office beginning at 6:00pm. $40 general admission; $10 for Students/25 & Under (ID required), cash preferred. Standby tickets do not include Coates’ book.
All ticket bundles (except Student/U25, complimentary, and standby tickets) include Coates’ new novel, The Water Dancer.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of our most original and perceptive voices on racial identity, systemic racial bias, and white supremacy. The author of the bestselling nonfiction works The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me, he can now add novelist to his list of achievements. The Water Dancer, a boldly imagined novel of magic and adventure, is coming out this September.
Coates is the author of three bestselling books: the memoir The Beautiful Struggle – a reflection on race, class, and masculinity that tells of his growing up in Baltimore, the son of a former Black Panther; Between The World And Me, written in the form of a letter to his son about American racial injustice; and We Were Eight Years in Power, a collection of essays on the Obama Era published in The Atlantic.
His forthcoming novel, The Water Dancer, is about a young black man, born into slavery in Virginia, who discovers he is gifted with a mysterious power; soon after, he embarks on a journey into the covert war on slavery, which takes him from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s plantations to abolitionist guerrilla cells in the wilderness.
Coates’ essays have appeared in local and national publications, including the Village Voice, the Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, where he was a national correspondent until 2018. His widely popular column at The Atlantic earned him a place on the TIME Best Blogs of 2011 list and the 2012 Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. Among his many other accolades, he has been awarded a MacArthur Grant in 2015, and Between the World and Me won the National Book Award in 2015.
A big comic book fan since childhood, Coates was delighted when he was tapped by Marvel in 2016 to write the new Black Panther comic series in cooperation with the illustrator Brian Stelfreeze, and a new Captain America title with artist Leinil Yu.
Coates is currently a writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is working on several projects, including a television project about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, titled America in the King Years, produced by Oprah Winfrey to air on HBO, based on one of the volumes of the books of the same title by Taylor Branch.
This is Coates’ third appearance on the SAL stage.
Dr. Charles Johnson, our moderator for the evening, is a University of Washington (Seattle) professor emeritus and the author of 24 books, is a novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary scholar, short-story writer, cartoonist and illustrator, an author of children’s literature, and a screen-and-teleplay writer. A MacArthur fellow, Johnson has received a 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, a 1990 National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage, a 1985 Writers Guild award for his PBS teleplay “Booker,” the 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Award at the National Black Writers Conference, and many other awards. The Charles Johnson Society at the American Literature Association was founded in 2020, Lifeline Theater in Chicago will debut its play adaptation of Middle Passage, titled “Rutherford’s Travels.” Dr. Johnson’s most recent publications are The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling, and his fourth short story collection, Night Hawks.