diversity & race | November 18, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins the 2015 National Book Award for Non-Fiction

A hearty congratulations to Lavin keynote speaker Ta-Nehisi Coates—his memoir Between the World and Me has won the 2015 National Book Award for non-fiction. The book has been described as “a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.”

In his powerful acceptance speech, Coates dedicates the book to the memory of his friend Prince Carmen Jones, who was shot and killed by the police. “I have waited for fifteen years for this moment,” Coates says, “because when Prince Jones died there were no cameras. There was nobody looking. The officer who killed him was not prosecuted … I’m a black man in America. I can’t punish that officer. Between the World and Me comes out of that place. I can’t secure the safety of my son. I can’t go home and tell him at night that it’s going to be okay … But what I do have is the power to say: you won’t enroll me in this lie, you won’t make me part of it.”

Up Next

innovation & creativity | November 16, 2015