Coates’ award in the nonfiction category was for the book-length letter to his son, Between the World and Me. The memoir was published amid the national conversation about race and police violence, and quickly earned the author comparisons to towering writers like James Baldwin.
“Every day you turn on the TV and see some kind of violence being directed at black people. Over and over and over again. And it keeps happening,” he said in his acceptance speech. Coates dedicated the award to a friend, Prince Jones, who was killed by police in 2000.”We are not enrolled in a lie, we are not part of it,” he said. It’s worth watching the whole speech.
Coates’ talk at Johns Hopkins’ Shriver Hall is free, but has been sold out. The talk will mostly focus on Coates’ first memoir, The Beautiful Struggle.
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