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Tag Archives: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates On Dismantling White Supremacy: “Any Definition Of Race Always Depends Upon Power”

Photo credit: Donn Nottage Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates is very clear on his role: Dig for the truth and get out of the way. "If you are going to be a writer you have to write into the wind. You have to say, 'I'm prepared to do this and give my all, even if only 20 people read the book.'" Many thousands have embraced Coates' Between the World and Me, which caught fire immediately upon its July release and topped the New York Times bestseller list. It is a National Book Award finalist and earned a jacket blurb from Toni Morrison, who crowned Coates the successor to James Baldwin. "I've been writing for 20 years—all of this is recent,” he said. “I liked what I was doing before this happened and I'll like what I'm doing when this goes away."  Sitting across from City Club of... Read More →

REVIEW: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between The World And Me” Is A Blunt Examination Of Black Life In America

Coates with his son Somari When a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown, journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates watched his 15-year-old son Samori slowly stand up and walk into his own Baltimore bedroom to cry. As Coates recounts this story in Between the World and Me, he writes that he followed his son, but did not hug or console him: "I did not tell you it would be okay, because I have never believed it would be okay. What I told you is what your grandparents tried to tell me: that this is your country, that this is your world, that this is your body, and you must find some way to live within all of it." Originally conceived as a collection of essays on the Civil War, Between the World and Me arrived four months ahead of its... Read More →

Cleveland Teens Add Their Voices To Conversation On Racism, Injustice

Moderator Anthony Price of Shaw High School; Shakyra Diaz of the ACLU of Ohio; Jonathan Gordon of CWRU School of Law; Basheer Jones, writer and poet; Andres Gonzalez, chief of police of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Shakyra Diaz, policy manager for the ACLU of Ohio, asked everyone in a crowded meeting hall who knew someone with a criminal conviction to raise a hand.  Almost every person – mostly youth – lifted an arm overhead. This was a respectable crowd – a City Club of Cleveland forum – and the arms aloft were eloquent. “The land of the free cannot be the land of the lock down,” Diaz said, and a junior at Gilmour Academy jotted the sentence in pencil on her program. The note-taking at “A Conversation on Race” at the City Club youth forum was no... Read More →

New Report Details “The Making Of Ferguson”: How Governmental Policy Created A Racial Nightmare

Credit: Missouri History Museum, St. Louis When Atlantic Monthly correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates' spoke in Cleveland in August about reparations, he touched only briefly on the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., earlier that month. “All I want to see is some history of the housing there," he said. "We can begin with Mike Brown laying on the ground and folks rioting. But there’s just a whole host of questions behind that. How did his family get to live there? What are the conditions like? What’s going on there?” Researcher Richard Rothstein at the Economic Policy Institute has dug up some of the answers in his new report, "The Making of Ferguson: Public Policy at the Root of its Troubles." On Twitter, Coates called it the “best researched... Read More →

Ta-Nehisi Coates Presents “Case For Reparations” At City Club Of Cleveland

Photo credit: Donn Nottage Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, walked to the lectern at the City Club of Cleveland and managed to distill two years of work on "The Case for Reparations" into an eight-word thesis: "What you have taken should be given back." It's time, he argues, for America's moral reckoning with the legacy of slavery. For Coates, 38, the spotlight has never been brighter. His 15,000-word article in The Atlantic, buttressed by original research, an extensive bibliography and film clips, broke the record for single-day traffic on the magazine’s website when it was published May 21. Coates took comic Stephen Colbert's jabs on "The Colbert Report." At MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry invited Coates onto her eponymous show, while Bill... Read More →

The Article On Race Every American Should Read

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates visited Cleveland on a frigid February morning earlier this year, he was blunt when asked about America's trouble acknowledging race. "You can't have America without black people," he said. "Once you understand that, you understand that the black experience is at the core of what it means to be free." His latest treatise for The Atlantic magazine, "The Case for Reparations," throws down the gauntlet on one of the most contentious subjects our nation has grappled with: how to make amends for 250 years of U.S. slavery. "Perhaps no statistic better illustrates the enduring legacy of our country’s shameful history of treating black people as sub-citizens, sub-Americans, and sub-humans than the wealth gap," he writes. "Reparations would seek to close this... Read More →

Host Of The Internet’s Most Lively Dinner Party, Ta-Nehisi Coates Commands The Room

At 38, Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior correspondent for The Atlantic's online property, has become one of the nation's foremost writers on race and culture. On a recent Saturday afternoon, Coates (whose first name is pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See) found himself on stage at the Cleveland Public Library before a large, diverse crowd that included students from the all-male Ginn Academy, a Cleveland public high school. The boys created a crimson line in the audience in their signature red blazers. Despite the formal setting, Coates was quick to share his humble beginnings. Born in West Baltimore, he came of age in "the era where black boys died," he said. Drugs and violence decimated entire communities, but Coates said his saving grace was his parents' strict guidance. His father, Paul Coates, was... Read More →
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