Lifestyle

Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins Genius Grant

You may refer to journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates as “Genius Coates” or “Sir Genius.

Or, as Coates tweeted, “He who holds knowledge of all things in all realms at all times.”

Naturally, Coates preferred to have a little fun and deservedly so.

The District resident, who works as a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the best-selling book, “Between the World and Me,” has been awarded the prestigious Genius grant by the MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest independent foundations that supports creative individuals and effective institutions that are committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world.

The foundation also works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security and make cities better places and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

Coates is the only journalist among this year’s class of 24 MacArthur fellows.

Foundation officials praised Coates as a “highly-distinctive voice” who is “emerging as a leading interpreter of American concerns to a new generation of media-savvy audiences and having a profound impact on the discussion of race and racism in this country.”

“I’m delighted that the MacArthur Foundation has reached the same conclusion about Ta-Nehisi Coates that his colleagues and readers at The Atlantic have held for many years,” said James Bennet, The Atlantic’s co-president and editor in chief.

“His genius is a rare combination of brilliance and singular vision joined to fearless intellectual honesty and boundless curiosity about what the rest of the world thinks, and why.”

Further, officials at the foundation said in a statement that Coates “brings personal reflection and historical scholarship to bear on America’s contested issues. Writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, Coates addresses complex and challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing. He subtly embeds the present — in the form of anecdotes about himself or others — into historical analysis in order to illustrate how the implications of the past are still experienced by people today.”

The fellowships come with a stipend of $625,000 over five years with no strings attached. Cecilia A. Conrad, the foundation’s managing director, said they take the no strings attached seriously and winners don’t have to report to them or account for how the funds are used.

Howard University graduate Coates’ articles have appeared in such publications as the Village Voice, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine and the New Yorker.

He was a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012 and a journalist in residence at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in 2014.

Foundation officials noted that Coates, writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, addresses complex challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing.

In a series of blog posts about the Civil War and a long-form print essay on “The Case for Reparations,” Coates grapples with the rationalizations for slavery and their persistence in 20th century policies like Jim Crow and redlining – the practice of denying loans and other financial services to African-Americans.

In “Reparations,” Coates compellingly argues for remuneration for the economic impact on African-Americans denied the ability to accumulate wealth or social status for generations. At once deeply felt and intensely researched, the essay prompted a national conversation.

“I wished I could be cool,” Coates told The New York Times about being contacted at his home in Paris about the honor. “But you just can’t be cool.”

What he does remain, however, is lighthearted, taking it all in stride as he told a colleague at The Atlantic.

“Unbearably insufferable. And I now have an excuse – I am a genius, after all,” he said, playfully. “Thus my insufferableness is a blessing.”

Tags
Show More

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker