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Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism
Accolades | May 10, 2012

Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism

Lavin speaker Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, has won the 2012 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism. “Coates is one of the most elegant and sharp observers of race in America,” said judge Hendrik Hertzberg of The New Yorker. “He is an upholder of universal values, a brave and compassionate writer who challenges his readers to transcend narrow self-definitions and focus on shared humanity.” Coates writes stories for The Atlantic, and updates an incredibly lively blog that Time named as one of the 25 best in the world.

The Sidney Hillman Foundation has been honoring journalists “who pursue investigative reporting and deep storytelling in service of the common good” since 1950. Past winners include Lavin’s Robert Kuttner and Bill Moyers.

Here's the Hillman Foundation, on Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Coates is famous for his eclectic and erudite approach to blogging. On any given day, a reader might be treated to a post on the latest gaffe in the Republican primary followed by a reflection on the philosophical themes in George Eliot's Middlemarch. In 2011, he covered police brutality at Occupy protests, the execution of Troy Davis, the late-19th-Century rift between feminists and early civil rights activists, the Penn State sex abuse scandal, and the importance of empathy in public discourse.

In his talks, Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks on how pop culture, history and politics affect discussions of race. He’s currently working on a novel, his first, set during the civil war, and can incorporate aspects of that period—and how it affects the current day—into his talks.
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