A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates

February 16, 2021 6:00 pm


An evening with New York Times #1 bestselling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Moderated by UW Professor of Communication, Ralina Joseph.

About the speaker

Ta-Nehisi Coates

#1 New York Times-bestselling author

In his work as a National Book Award-winning writer and formerly as a National Correspondent for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates has emerged as an essential voice for our times. His award-winning writing combines reportage, historical analysis, and personal narrative to address some of America’s most complex and challenging issues pertaining to culture and identity.

Exhibiting a preternatural ability for articulating the ways in which America’s history has informed its current condition, Coates has been compared to James Baldwin and praised as “required reading” by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. He addresses audiences across the country on urgent cultural topics, including discriminatory housing policies, mass incarceration, deleterious interpretations of history, and his personal experiences growing up as an African American male in the United States.

Coates’s 2017 book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, is a collection of his writing from the Obama era, including never-before published essays. Since 2016, Coates has also written Marvel’s The Black Panther comic books and has just begun writing Captain America.

His debut novel, The Water Dancer, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection and an NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) finalist. His following 2015 book Between the World and Me was a #1 New York Times bestseller, as well as required or recommended reading at over 400 colleges and universities across the country. Structured as a letter to his teenage son, it moves from Baltimore to Howard University to New York City to Paris, addressing what it means to inhabit an African American body in today’s America.

Between the World and Me will be adapted into a HBO special that is scheduled to air Fall 2020.

Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in West Baltimore and attended Howard University. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence for New York University’s Carter Journalism Institute.

For more information on this Speaker please visit ​prhspeakers.com​.


About the Moderator

Ralina L. Joseph is a scholar, teacher, and facilitator of race and communication. She is Professor of Communication, the founding and acting director of the Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity, and Associate Dean of Diversity and Student Affairs at the University of Washington. Her latest book, Postracial Resistance: Black Women, Media, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity (NYU Press 2018), is the International Communication Association’s 2019 Book of the Year. She is also author of Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial (Duke University Press, 2013) and the forthcoming book Generation Mixed Goes to School (with Allison Briscoe-Smith, TC Press, 2021). She is currently writing a book of essays based on her public scholarship work entitled Interrupting Privilege.


Event Accessibility

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