Facts about Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is 48 years old
Best known as: The 'Atlantic' writer who also does 'Black Panther' comics

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Ta-Nehisi Coates Biography

African American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is a journalist and editor of The Atlantic, and the author of a series of superhero comics for Marvel, Black Panther.

Coates grew up in Baltimore and studied at Howard University in Washington, D.C. before setting out for a career in journalism.

From 2000 to 2007 he was a reporter in Philadelphia and New York, eventually becoming an editor at The Atlantic and publishing a memoir of sorts, The Beautiful Struggle (2008).

Writing mostly about race issues in the United States, Coates brought academic research to a wider audience in an effort to address the power of “white supremacy” in culture and politics.

His 2014 essay, “The Case for Reparations” put him in a bigger spotlight, and his 2015 book Between the World and Me: Notes on the First 150 Years in America won a National Book Award.

Extra credit

Coates was famously scolded by Harvard professor Cornel West in 2017, who called him “the neoliberal face of the black freedom struggle,” in a critique that accused Coates of sugar-coating the presidency of Barack Obama and of catering to white liberals. Coates ended his Twitter account over the resulting hubbub, but restarted it by the end of the year with the message, “I love you Cornel.”


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