Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author born on September 30, 1975 in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Woodlawn High School, he attended Howard University, but dropped out in order to pursue a career in journalism. Coates worked at various news publications, including The Washington City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, The Village Voice, The Atlantic, and Time. His pieces often focus on abuses against African-Americans in the modern day.
In 2008, Coates published his first novel, a memoir entitled The Beautiful Struggle, which details his childhood growing up in Baltimore and how his race shaped his perspective on society. Throughout this memoir, the author explains how his father, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Black Panthers, inspired him to overcome every setback that he faced in adolescence. It is a story of resilience in the face of adversity and a boy’s unwavering love for his family.
When The Beautiful Struggle was released in 2008, it received great praise and admiration from critics. Rich Benjamin of The Guardian stated that there is “something quiet and elegant about Coates’s tribute to his complicated father, and to his boyhood city. Each small observation on his more-or-less mundane adolescence lures you into greater understanding; each comment on the ironies of race draws you further from apathy or political slumber.”
Since The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates has published a novel, Between the World and Me (2015), which also deals with the hardships of being a black man in America. He then worked as a writer for Marvel’s comic book Black Panther, a series that went on to sell over 200,000 copies. Coates currently works as a national correspondent for The Atlantic.