Award Winning Author Ta-Nehisi Coates Speaking on Race in America at BC

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the next speaker to be sponsored by the Lowell Humanities Series, partnered with the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics.

An Atlantic National Correspondent, Coates has also written for The Village Voice and Time, and has contributed to The Washington Post, O and The New York Times Magazine. He has won several awards for his articles, including the George Polk Award for his cover story “The Case for Reparations” — a piece about slavery and race — and the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism in 2012. His Atlantic blog, which mainly focuses on race, politics and culture, has been named by Time as one of the 25 Best in the World.

In the past year alone, Coates has published his second book, had that book nominated for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction and been named the recipient of a “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Released in July, Coates’s most recent book Between the World and Me takes the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son about the reality of being black in the United States today. The less than 200-page best seller rotates through prose, poem, memoir and essay.

“’White America is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies,” Coates writes. “Sometimes this power is direct (lynching) and sometimes it is insidious (redlining). But however it appears, the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white, and without it ‘white people’ would cease to exist for want of reasons."

While criticized by a New York Times review as generalizing and unrecognizing of racial progress, it has been hailed by most as “extraordinary,” “essential” and “required” reading, despite its bleak tone.

Coates will be speaking in Gasson Hall, Room 100, on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m.

Rhode Islander with an unironic love for teen boy bands. Survives mainly on Ritz crackers and smoothies. Has a huge crush on Joe Biden. Interested in news writing, but hoping not to end up like that journalist on 'House of Cards.'