Ta-Nehisi Coates to speak at Willamette University

by Marketing & Communications,

Update: Citing personal health concerns, author Ta-Nehisi Coates canceled his lecture scheduled for Jan. 20, 2016. He will speak on Feb. 1, 2017.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Courtesy of Nina Subin

For more information, see "Ta-Nehisi Coates cancels January lecture." (More information on Coates’ Feb. 1, 2017, appearance at Willamette University.)

On Jan. 20, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., Willamette University will present bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates, who will deliver “A Deeper Black: Race in America” as part of the university’s Atkinson Lecture Series and annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Called “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States,” Coates has earned widespread critical praise for his keen insight and powerful prose.

An Atlantic National Correspondent and 2015 MacArthur 'Genius' Award Winner, Coates has written many influential articles, including "The Case for Reparations," which reignited the long-dormant conversation of how to repay African-Americans for generations of lost wealth because of an oppressive system of institutional racism. New York called the George Polk Award-winning cover story "probably the most discussed magazine piece of the Obama era."

“Coates shows how our country’s long history of slavery and racism connect to our current struggles with mass incarceration, police brutality and racialized poverty,” said Willamette history professor Seth Cotlar. “He uses American history to identify the root causes of our current problems and to point the way toward a more just and equitable future.”

For his first book, “The Beautiful Struggle,” Coates earned the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism in 2012. One Hillman Prize judge called Coates “an upholder of universal values, a brave and compassionate writer who challenges his readers to transcend narrow self-definitions and focus on shared humanity."

A former Village Voice writer and Martin Luther King Visiting Associate Professor at MIT, Coates is the Journalist in Residence at the School of Journalism at CUNY.


Beginning Nov. 30, university students, faculty and staff can reserve a free ticket and purchase up to three additional tickets at the alumni price of $5. General admission tickets will be publicly available for $10 each on Dec. 14.

Willamette University

University Communications

Waller Hall, Fourth Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Back to Top