diversity | September 14, 2015

The Myth of Black Criminality: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New Atlantic Cover Story

If you needed more proof that Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the most important voices on race (and racism) in America today, stop what you’re doing and read his Atlantic cover story, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” As an analysis of America’s enduring carceral state (which Coates calles “the gray wasteland”), a shocking history of violence and systemic racism, and a call to return to the question of reparations, this is investigative journalism at its best. It exhibits the same breadth and depth of research—and deep sense of empathy—that made his Between the World and MeNYT bestseller. 

For more of Coates’ perspectives on the brokenness of the American penal system, watch The Atlantic’s supplementary video, “Ta-Nehisi Coats on Criminal Justice,” embedded above. And catch Coates on NPR, speaking about “the mass incarceration of African-Americans and the criminal justice policy that put the U.S. on this path.”

Coates in The Atlantic:

A serious reformation of our carceral policy—one seeking a smaller prison population, and a prison population that looks more like America—cannot concern itself merely with sentencing reform, cannot pretend as though the past 50 years of criminal-justice policy did not do real damage. And so it is not possible to truly reform our justice system without reforming the institutional structures, the communities, and the politics that surround it ... One class of people suffers deprivation at levels above and beyond the rest of the country—the same group that so disproportionately fills our jails and prisons.
In his arresting talks, Ta-Nehisi Coates delves into the conflicted and hopeful state of black America today. To book Coates as the keynote speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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science | September 13, 2015