Sunday, March 6, 2011

10 Articles by Ta-Nehisi Coates

On March 23, at 7:00 in the Hickory/Hackberry Rooms in the Morris University Center, Ta-Nehisi Coates will give a talk entitled "A Deeper Black: The Meaning of Race in the Age of Obama."

Over the years, before becoming a noted blogger for The Atlantic, Coates has produced an impressive body of works concerning African American culture, politics, music, and poetry. Follow the links to check out 10 of his articles.

1. "'This is How We Lost to the White Man'." May 2008. This Atlantic article is an extensive and really thoughtful piece about "the audacity of Bill Cosby's conservatism," as the subtitle notes. The title of the article is from a line in a Cosby speech. Coates covers quite a bit of ground as he discusses black culture and ideological differences. Really impressive.

2. Is Obama Black Enough? Feb. 2007. In this Time magazine piece, Coates discusses the debates about the nature (and degrees) of the then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's racial and cultural identity.

3. Rice, Rice, Baby! July 2003. This article from The Village Voice showcases Coates's ability to blend humor and black political consciousness.

4. Promises of an Unwed Father. Jan. 2006. Here's the sub-heading for this O magazine article: "His pregnant girlfriend came from a long line of vanishing dads. How could he—a young, unemployed college dropout—persuade her (and her mother) that he'd be any different? Ta-Nehisi Coates remembers the nine most thrilling, unnerving, tightrope-walking months of his life."

5. Critical Race Theory. April 2004. In this Washington Monthly review of Debra Dickerson's book The End of Blackness, Coates offers useful insights and critiques of how people think about black people and ideas.

6. Soul Mates. April 2001. In this Washington Monthly article, Coates discusses "Black America's Love Affair with Bill Clinton."

7. Gaston Neal, 1934-1999. Oct. 1999. A short and touching piece about the funeral services for poet Gaston Neal. A couple of years earlier, Coates had written an extensive piece on Neal who was battling cancer.

8. Comic Belief. July 1996. Here, for The Washington City Paper, Coates writes about Aaron McGruder, who was just beginning to gain a national reputation. July 1999.

9. Hard Corps. July 1996. A piece in The Washington City Paper where Coates reflects on his experiences co-teaching a poetry workshop for a group of students in a struggling environment.

10. Return of the Mecca? Feb. 1999. Another Washington City Paper article, this extensive piece concentrates on the possibility that Howard University students were not necessarily fulfilling the legacy of activism and political consciousness that had defined the institution in its heyday.

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