Ta-Nehisi Coates Talks Journalism, Democracy and His Next Role

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 29: Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks onstage during HISTORYTalks Leadership & Legacy presented by HISTORY at Carnegie Hall. (Bryan Bedder via Getty Images)

Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of America’s premier thinkers on racism and systemic inequality, has taken on many roles: Atlantic staff writer, best-selling author, novelist and comic book writer. Last week, Coates made headlines for his latest move: teaching journalism at his alma mater Howard University along with Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times “1619 Project” writer Nikole Hannah-Jones. The announcement came after Hannah-Jones rejected an offer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after a contentious and drawn-out tenure process, which Coates publicly criticized. We talk with Coates about disinformation, police brutality and the role of journalism in American democracy.


Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sterling Brown chair, Department of English at Howard University; author, "Between the World and Me"