Ta-Nehisi Coates and the making of a public intellectual
This article has been published in the Independent newspaper. It begins:
When Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first book The Beautiful Struggle was published in 2008, it landed with barely a ripple. At the time, Coates was a struggling writer. He had lost three jobs, and he and his family relied on unemployment checks, his wife’s income and occasional support from his father to stay afloat. By the time the book came out in paperback, his fortune had shifted slightly; he’d become a regular contributor to The Atlantic magazine, writing a blog that attracted a moderate but engaged audience.