Ta-Nehisi Coates writes frankly about race in contemporary America, directly addressing timely issues from racial bias in urban policing to President Obama’s legacy as our nation’s first black president. The MacArthur Foundation, which granted Coates a Genius Grant in 2015, wrote that Coates’ work “subtly embeds the present—in the form of anecdotes about himself or others—into historical analysis in order to illustrate how the implications of the past are still experienced by people today.”
Coates’ two books of nonfiction, The Beautiful Struggle (2008) and Between the World and Me (2015), have been especially praised for their ability to blend intensive research with deeply personal reflection. Professionally, Coates works as a journalist and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic. He has also contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and Time Magazine.
Coates grew up in Baltimore. His father, William Paul Coates, was both a Vietnam War veteran and a Black Panther. Coates’ comic book series, Black Panther, was Marvel’s #1 bestseller in April 2016.
In addition to his Genius Grant and McArthur Fellowship, Coates has received numerous awards, including being honored as the Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar at Massachusets Institute of Technology in 2012 and receiving the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2015.
Video: Advice on Writing From The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. “The writer offers advice for eager young people.”