Ta-Nehisi Coates is a memoirist, journalist, blogger and educator. He is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, and one of the most original and perceptive voices on black America. With rich emotional depth and a sonar sense of how pop culture, politics, and history shape discussions of diversity, Coates is “the young James Joyce of the hip hop generation” (Walter Mosley).
There will not be a book signing for this event. However, Coates’ books will be for sale in the lobby. This event will be a conversation-style event moderated by Vivian Phillips.
Coates’s newest book Between the World and Me was released July 14th. Toni Morrison said, “I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’ journey, is visceral, eloquent and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading.”
A recent article in The Seattle Review of Books includes this description of Between the World and Me: “What Coates does in Between the World and Me is he shakes out the vocabulary of racism, discards the metaphors and definitions that no longer work, and offers up a new framework for talking about race. This is a book that will alter the course of conversation for decades to come; people will be inspired by it and argue with it and learn from it and reassess it for generations. it’s not every year — hell, it’s not every decade — that you can comprehend a new book’s importance on a first reading. This is one of those books. You will not like what Coates has to tell you, but you will be so grateful to him for sharing it.”
Coates has worked for The Village Voice, Washington City Paper, and Time Magazine. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, O, and other publications.
At The Atlantic, Coates writes feature articles while maintaining a blog. Topics covered by the blog include politics, history, race, and culture as well as sports and music. His writings on race, such as his September 2012 Atlantic cover piece “Fear of a Black President” and his June 2014 feature “The Case for Reparations,” have been especially praised, and have won his blog a place on the Best Blogs of 2011 list by Time magazine and the 2012 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism from The Sidney Hillman Foundation. Coates’ blog has also been praised for its engaging comments section, which he curates and moderates heavily so that, “the jerks are invited to leave and the grown-ups to stay and chime in”.
In 2008 he published, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, a memoir about coming of age in West Baltimore and its impact on him. He poignantly discusses the influence of his father, a former Black Panther, the prevailing street crime of the era and its effects on his older brother, his own troubled experience attending Baltimore-area schools, and his eventual graduation and enrollment in Howard University.
He joined the City University of New York as its journalist-in-residence in the fall of 2014.
“The Case for Reparations” (2014) – The Atlantic – Winner of the 2014 George Polk Award
“Fear of a Black President” (2013) – Best American Magazine Writing
“A Deeper Black” (2009) – Best African American Essays 2010
Between the World and Me (2015)
The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood (2008)
New York Magazine: The Hard Truths of Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic
The Atlantic: The Case for Reparations
Columbia Journalism Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates defines a new race beat
New Republic: Q&A: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Reparations, Ignorant Journalism, and Whether He Talks to President Obama
MIT News: Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates dazzles during two years as an MLK Visiting Scholar
Advice on Writing From The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates