We are fortunate to have on campus one of America’s rising public intellectuals, Ta-Nehisi Coates, to deliver the Convocation on Thursday.  His talk is “Race in America: A Deeper Black,” starts at 11:10 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Mr. Coates is a recipient of one of this year’s Macarthur “Genius” Awards,  and his recent book, Between the World and Me, is a finalist for the National Book Award in non-fiction.

I became familiar with Coates from his writing in The Atlantic, where last year he wrote “The Case for Reparations,” where he argues that African Americans should be compensated for the past abuses of slavery, Jim Crow, “separate-but-equal,” and continuing racist housing policies.    A more recent piece, “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration” explores the devastation that a confluence of racist housing policies, drug laws, and differential policing has had on black families and communities.   The tragic thesis that Coates forwards is that the mass incarceration of African-American men is mostly by design, and not some unintended consequence of ill-conceived public policies.

The Convo is at 11:10.   I suggest you get there early if you want a seat.