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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a powerful voice in the public discussion surrounding race relations. His article in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations,” caught the public attention in a unique way, smashing The Atlantic’s previous sales record and garnering record numbers of hits. More importantly, it sparked a national conversation that continues today, a testament to the impact of his journalism.

Mr. Coates’ work explores the hidden, and not so hidden, systems of racial oppression at work in the United States today, uses them to contextualize incidents of racial tension, and argues that together, they represent a strong basis for reparations. Regardless of whether one agrees with him or not, we at WUPR are convinced that understanding Mr. Coates’ argument is a pre-requisite to understanding our own roles and responsibilities in our communities, as well as American politics today.

In the wake of the tragic death of Michael Brown, Washington University and St. Louis are in sore need of a nuanced, constructive dialogue on race, and Ta-Nehisi Coates is uniquely qualified to contribute to it.

The event took place Graham Chapel on Wednesday, February 18th and included both a lecture and question and answer session.

You can read “The Case for Reparations” here

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