In a revelatory testament of what it means to be black in America today, this timely new memoir solidifies Coates as one of today’s most important writers on the subject of race. Composed as letters to his teenage son, Coates bears witness to his own experiences as a young black man while moving between emotionally charged reportage of the recent shootings of unarmed black men by police. Coates—a national correspondent for The Atlantic, which published his landmark 2014 essay, “The Case for Reparations,” and author of the previous memoir, The Beautiful Struggle—arrives at a transcendent vision of the past and present to offer hope for his son’s future. Join us for a momentous conversation with Coates and historian Robin D.G. Kelley about America’s way forward.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a National Correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. Coates has received The National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story, “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son.
Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America; Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn; and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination. His most recent book is Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.