Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


THE JOURNEY: “Between the World and Ta-Nehisi Coates”

Ta-Nehisi and HU President Frederick

Ta-Nehisi Coates has deepened the national conversation about race and identity.  On this episode of The Journey, President Wayne Frederick chats with his guest, the award-winning author and journalist about his work, the inspirational traditions of Howard University and the responsibility to recognize that “Beauty is not free.”

Aired on Sunday, March 13, 2016, on Howard University radio station, WHUR.

Click here to listen to the 15-minute discussion.


Ta-Nehisi Coates: 2015 National Book Awards Non-Fiction Award Winner (Full Acceptance Speech)

Here's Ta-Nehisi Coates' full speech after receiving the Non-Fiction Award at this week's National Book Awards. In his brief speech he dedicates the award, and the perspective and inspiration for the award-winning book, Between the World and Me, to the life and memory of Prince Jones.

Direct, and very compelling.

You won't enroll me in this lie. You won't make me a part of it. That is what we did with Between the World and Me.

A little less than 7 minutes...


Ta-Nehisi Coates w/ Fareed Zakaria

Here's a brief discussion between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Fareed Zakaria; a discussion that more directly addresses some of the most frequently used diversions so as not to address the history and present impact of racism in pubic policy.

(approx. 7 minutes; starts after the first 16 seconds)


‘Between the World and Me’ – Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation with Howard University Students and Community

Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the New York Times bestseller Between the World and Me (Random House, 2015) and National Book Award nonfiction nominee, was on the Howard University campus on Wednesday, October 7, for a full day of interaction with Howard students and members of the Howard community. His visit culminated in a major address and book-signing event at Cramton Auditorium at 7:00 pm. Below is the approximately 90 minute presentation and dialogue with the Howard University community.

The one comment I'll share about the occasion is that Ta-Nehisi's thoughtful and insightful reflections, especially evident in his exchange with HU students, is exactly the kind of experience that seems to set the HBCU experience apart from all others. This was a family conversation: one son of HU, Ta-Nehisi, in conversation with a new generation of students, who are similarly finding their path while making sense of this racist world we've all been born into - and one that we're all still seeking to turn right side up.

I hope people have some appreciation of how unique and valuable the Howard University experience is, especially at this particular moment in time, spoken from another son of this great institution. If you hear someone question the value of an HBCU experience, especially the HU experience, or next time someone asks such a ridiculous question, just share this link with them. And if you want more of this caliber discussion (including more of the rich and complex history and current presence of African people in the world) with and between students, you should really visit the campus and attend some of the campus discussions related to understanding, and even more so the healing and development of, the world African community.

Study... Engage... Reflect... Grow... Repeat...


The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality: A Companion Video to ‘The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration’

Another companion video to the just-published essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates (October's cover story inThe Atlantic), The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

In his upcoming October cover story, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores how mass incarceration has affected African American families. "There's a long history in this country of dealing with problems in the African American community through the criminal justice system," he says in this animated interview. "The enduring view of African Americans in this country is as a race of people who are prone to criminality." You can read the full story on September 15, 2015.

Approximately 3 mins.


Mass Incarceration, Visualized: A Companion Video to ‘The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration’

A companion video to the just-published essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates (October's cover story in The Atlantic), The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

In this animated interview, the sociologist Bruce Western explains the current inevitability of prison for certain demographics of young black men and how it's become a normal life event. "We've chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with," Western says. In The Atlantic's upcoming October cover story, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the impact of mass incarceration on the black family. You can read the full story on September 15, 2015.

(Approximately 2 1/2 mins.)


Ta-Nehisi Coates: We accept violence against African-Americans as normal

From PBS NewsHour, July 23, 2015, approximately 7 mins.

In his new book, “Between the World and Me,” Atlantic magazine columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about the looming violence that African-Americans endure every day, in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Coates about the legacy of racism and white supremacy in America.


“Between the World and Me”: Ta-Nehisi Coates Extended Interview on Being Black in America

Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks about his book, Between the World and Me, as well the broader experience of racism in America.

From Democracy Now -- Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We spend the hour with Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of "Between the World and Me," an explosive new book about white supremacy and being black in America. The book begins, "Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage." It is written as a letter to his 15-year-old son, Samori, and is a combination of memoir, history and analysis. Its publication comes amidst the shooting of nine African-American churchgoers by an avowed white supremacist in Charleston; the horrifying death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman in Texas who was pulled over for not signaling a lane change; and the first anniversary of the police killings of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson. Coates talks about how he was influenced by freed political prisoner Marshall "Eddie" Conway and writer James Baldwin, and responds to critics of his book, including Cornel West and New York Times columnist David Brooks. Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues.

approx. 39 mins.


Ta-Nehisi Coates Reads From New Book “Between the World and Me”

From The Atlantic... July 4, 2015.

Ta-Nehisi Coates reads a short passage from his new book, Between the World and Me. Read an extended excerpt, "A Letter to My Son," here, and see more coverage of the book here.


Ta-Nehisi Coates On Police Brutality, The Confederate Flag And Forgiveness

Growing up in West Baltimore, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates was no stranger to violence. "Everyone had lost a child, somehow, to the streets, to jail, to drugs, to guns," he tellsFresh Air's Terry Gross.

Coates' new book, Between the World and Me, is an effort to protect his son from the same threats he experienced as a youth. Written in the form of a letter, Coates draws on history as well as personal experience to discuss the different forms of violence young African-Americans face on the street, in school and from the police.

According to Coates, despite the media's recent attention to police violence against black men, he does not believe such incidents are on the rise; rather, he says, injustices have been occurring for years — and many of them can be traced to America's flawed judicial system.

"We've spent the last roughly half a century or so growing increasingly Draconian, stripping back people's rights in terms of how they deal with the criminal justice system, increasing the punitive nature of the criminal justice system once people are in the system's clutches — all of that is brought to bear when we think about each of these deaths."

From NPR -- Monday, July 13, 2015.