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Speaker Profile

Ta-Nehisi Coates

New York Times bestselling author

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, The Water Dancer, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. He was a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship that same year. As a journalist with a career spanning over two decades, he’s written for numerous publications including The Washington City Paper, The Village Voice, The New Yorker and The New York Times. During his time reporting for The Atlantic between 2008-2018, he penned numerous articles and essays, including the National Magazine Award-winning 2012 essay “Fear of a Black President” and the influential June 2014 essay “The Case for Reparations.” Coates also enjoyed a successful run writing Marvel’s Black Panther (2016-2021) and Captain America (2018-2021) comics series. He is currently writing the screenplays for the upcoming films Wrong Answer, Superman and the film adaptation of his first novel, The Water Dancer. In the fall of 2022, Coates joined Howard University’s faculty as a writer-in-residence and holds the Sterling Brown Chair in the Department of English.

Scheduled Appearances


Slate presents A WORD: Race and Politics

Crosscut Festival 2024
Sat May 4, 2024 | 8:00pm

Conversations about race — ones sparked by a crisis that move from shock to empty promises to forgetting — are unproductive. Conversations about race that shine a light on the facts can impact how race plays out in our politics and society. On A Word with Jason Johnson, the veteran political commentator brings incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists and other change-makers about America’s challenges around race, and offers ideas on the way forward. He sits down with Ta-Nehisi Coates to have just this kind of conversation. 

Dr. Jason Johnson
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Featuring: Dr. Jason Johnson, Ta-Nehisi Coates

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About the Festival

The Cascade PBS Ideas Festival brings together journalists, newsmakers, and innovators from around the country to talk about the issues that are animating our cultural conversations. The festival includes live recordings of television and podcasts from The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Pushkin, NPR and PBS; as well as community meetups, meet-and-greets, food trucks, DJs, and more.

The Cascade PBS Ideas Festival will take place May 4, 2024, at the Amazon Meeting Center, 2031 Seventh Ave. Seattle, WA 98121.

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