April 05, 2017

University of Detroit Mercy welcomed author, journalist, educator and National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates on Tuesday, April 4 in Calihan Hall on the McNichols Campus. He delivered a talk entitled “Between the World and Me.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates is one of the most original and perceptive black voices today – “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (New York Observer).  He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me (2015), written as an open letter to his teenaged son which received the National Book Award for nonfiction. The National Book Foundation called it “a brutally honest portrayal of the plight of the African-American male in this country. Incorporating history and personal memoir, Coates has succeeded in creating an essential text for any thinking American today. The book was named one of the 10 best books of the year by numerous national newspapers and magazines.

Coates is also the author of a memoir, The Beautiful Struggle (2008), about growing up in Baltimore during the age of crack cocaine. Booklist called it a “beautifully written, loving portrait of a strong father bringing his sons to manhood.”

As a national correspondent for The Atlantic, he writes about culture, politics and social issues. His June 2014 feature on reparations won the prestigious George Polk Award for commentary and was described by New York magazine as “probably the most discussed magazine piece of the Obama era.” He has also received the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism and a MacArthur Fellowship, and last year was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

A former Village Voice writer, Coates serves as the Journalist-in-Residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He was previously the Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar at MIT.

This event was sponsored by University of Detroit Mercy’s Office of Academic Affairs, Office of the President, Student Life and the College of Liberal Arts & Education.

Coates Crowd
Photo Credit: Erick Mori-Quimper

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