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“Defending the Championship”: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Obama’s Second Term
Colbert Nation | January 22, 2013

“Defending the Championship”: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Obama’s Second Term

On inauguration night, Ta-Nehisi Coates appeared on The Colbert Report to talk about President Obama’s second term—and, at the insistence of Colbert, about Michelle Obama’s new bangs! Coates is an incisive speaker on race in America. He's a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, where he wrote a defining article of Obama’s first term, “Fear of a Black President,” and profiled the Chicago of Michelle Obama’s formative years.

“As a black guy,” Colbert asked in his good-natured mock voice, “are you guys still all excited about this first black president—or have you gotten over that?” “I think we’re pretty excited,” said Coates, who wore a big smile throughout the interview. “In fact, I would actually go so far as to say that this was bigger than the last time.” The first time, he explained, was “Cinderella team wins the championship.” This time, it was akin to defending the championship—“and we defended the championship.” After some jokes about whether Joe Biden was a role model for white people, Colbert asked Coates about the Black Panther movement. (Coates wrote movingly about his father, a former Black Panther, in his memoir, The Beautiful Struggle). Growing up informed by the Panther’s radicalizing politics, Coates simply believed that there could never be a black president. “Obama broke my world view about that,” he told Colbert.
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David Eagleman is a daring young scientist who provides a new understanding of our brains—and ourselves. As a speaker, this Guggenheim Fellow and NYT bestselling author is energizing, edifying, and able to connect scientific discovery to any field. He’s the writer and host of the upcoming PBS series The Brain with David Eagleman: a six-hour international event on what it means to be human. This television series will tell the story of the inner workings of the brain and take viewers on an epic, visually stunning journey into why we feel and think the things we do.

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