A Deeper Black: Race in America


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color photo of Ta-Nehisi Coates speaking at U-M
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor, The Atlantic Monthly
Event Date: 
January 21, 2015
Event Time: 
Rackham Auditorium, 915 E. Washington Street
color photo of Ta-Nehisi Coates speaking at U-M

Ta-Nehisi Coates delves into the conflicted and hopeful state of black America today. What does "black culture" mean? What is the continuing role of both the older and younger generations in shaping it? Where will gentrification, education, and the splintering (or unifying) of families take it? This talk asks the small personal questions as well as the big historic ones.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most original and perceptive voices in black America—and one of our best writers, period. With rich emotional depth and a sonar sense of how pop culture, politics, and history shape discussions of diversity—his Atlantic cover story on slavery and race, "The Case for Reparations," is one of the most talked-about pieces of nonfiction in recent memory.

An Atlantic senior editor and writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates has penned many influential articles on race, masculinity, and politics. Last year, his lively Atlantic blog was named by Time as one of the 25 Best in the World. Coates is a former writer for The Village Voice, and a contributor to Time, O, and The New York Times Magazine. In 2012, he was awarded the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. His critically hailed debut book, The Beautiful Struggle, is a tough and touching memoir of growing up in Baltimore during the age of crack. It's also a vivid portrait of his father, a former Vietnam Vet and Black Panther who started his own underground black press, had seven children with four women, and dedicated his life to carrying his sons across the shoals of inner city adolescence. 

Presented by the Institute for Research on Women & Gender and the Women’s Studies Department, with cosponsorship from the Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs; the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; and the Center for the Education of Women.

The biennial Motorola Lecture features an outstanding journalist who routinely addresses issues concerning gender in his or her reporting. Established in 2001, with support from the Motorola Foundation, this endowed lecture aims to expose students, faculty, and the broader community to the work of exceptional journalists and to inform students about ways the media can reframe public understanding of complex issues.

This year's Motorola Lecture is part of the University of Michigan's Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium