Ta-Nehisi Coates to Speak at Xavier University

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Editor’s note: This event has been rescheduled for November 20. Tickets for the September date are still valid. See event page for details.

Just two-odd years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates became a breakout voice on race relations with his essay “The Case for Reparations.” The essay, which appeared on the cover of The Atlantic and even had its own trailer, renewed the conversation about black life in white America. Coates’s subsequent book, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, 2015), framed as a letter to his son about the experience of being a black man in America, won the National Book Award and made him a celebrity in academic and media circles alike.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 04: Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks onstage at the New Yorker Festival 2015 - The Fire This Time at SIR Stage 37 on October 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker)
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 04: Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks onstage at the New Yorker Festival 2015 – The Fire This Time at SIR Stage 37 on October 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

“It’s very challenging book, conceptually,” says Dr. Gabriel Gottlieb, associate professor of Philosophy and the director for Xavier’s Ethics/Religion and Society Program, which is hosting the event. “The way it talks about race is not the way people are used to talking about race. For example, there’s the phrase ‘Those who think they are white.’ That’s the kind of line people find challenging. The idea of race as a social construction is something that a lot of people are vaguely aware of, and he’s dealing with that in a compelling and poetic way.”

Coates’s appearance at Xavier’s Cintas Center is a natural follow-up to the E/RS Program’s Town Hall discussion this February entitled “15 Years Later: The Cincinnati Riots and the Future of the City.

“[Coates] is a distinctive and important voice on issues of race and racial justice,” Gottlieb says. “Given the history of racial injustice in Cincinnati, we thought he would be able to speak to the kinds of issues that are important for conversations taking place at Xavier, but also more broadly for the public here in Cincinnati.”

CoatesPoster
E/RS Presents Ta-Nehisi Coates

Poster design by Gabrielle Sapata

November 20, 7 p.m., Cintas Center, 1624 Herald Ave., Xavier University. Free and open to the public. Tickets required. xavier.edu/ers/Ta-Nehisi-Coates

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