E/RS series hosts award-winning author

By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of nyt.com | Author Ta-Nehisi Coates will speak as part of this year’s E/RS lecture series.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, an award-winning author and national correspondent for the Atlantic, will give a talk entitled “On Race in America” in the Cintas Center on Sept. 26.

Well known for his often controversial writing on cultural issues and race relations in America, he has become familiar to many in various university classrooms who have read his works.

“I first read his article ‘The Case for Reparations’ when it was published in The Atlantic during the summer of 2014,” Associate Professor Gabe Gottlieb said. “I thought it was an insightful and philosophical essay my students could benefit from.”

Since reading it, Gottlieb has taught the piece to his first-year ethics class and continues to connect its themes to those in Plato’s Republic during classroom discussion.

“Coates offers an important perspective on issues of race, one that will likely challenge the way students have thought about racial injustice and what is required to meet the demands of justice,”

Gottlieb said. Gottlieb and his other colleagues invited Ta-Nehisi Coates to Xavier to share his important and distinctive voice on issues of race, police-community issues and the legacy of racial injustice in America.

“Students will gain a deeper understanding on the importance of race and addressing issues of racial injustice in American society. It is easy to turn your head the other way and to bury yourself in your work, but this is an opportunity to think about these issues and hopefully to consider models of change,” Gottlieb said.

The title of his talk, “On Race in America,” involves the current issues of reparations, the legacy of racism and the plundering and exploitation of black Americans.

He plans to talk about these issues as he relates them to several main themes within his works.

“Coates can be a blunt speaker and writer, someone who does not hide from difficult truths, but he is also a poetic writer,” Gottlieb said. “This combination, I think, will make it a unique event for students.”

Coates has also written several books on the issues he discusses in his talks and presentations.

He is well known for his memoir The Beautiful Struggle, a reflection on issues involving race, class and masculinity that he faced growing up in Baltimore as the son of a former Black Panther.

His book Between the World and Me is also well-known for its passionate and lyrical essay addressed to his teenage son about his experience of being a Black man in America today.

His articles have appeared in the Village Voice, the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post, the New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine and the New Yorker along with his publications in the Atlantic.

Those who would like to attend his talk can pick up tickets at the Cintas Center and Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

The event will be held in the Cintas Center at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26.

All students are encouraged to come listen to the lecture and interact with the Greater Cincinnati community.