Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates dazzles during two years as an MLK Visiting Scholar
MIT News | School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences | May 21, 2014
For Ta-Nehisi Coates, noted author and national correspondent for The Atlantic, the path to literary success began in a tough Baltimore neighborhood.
When it was time for college, Coates went briefly, but dropped out to practice journalism. By 2008 his memoir — "The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood" — was being critically acclaimed, and in 2013, his writing for The Atlantic earned him a National Magazine Award, a top honor in magazine publishing.
How did Coates do it? “I started writing at a really young age,” he says. “When I used to get in trouble, my mother used to make me write essays.”
Coates’ parents were both educators, and he was also a voracious reader. “I never liked the classroom, but I loved the library,” he says.