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Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me

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    Opening Audience Applause
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    Good Afternoon everyone
    Uh so
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    This is kinda surreal sitting here
    with you
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    I should've worn my Howard University gear
    too (laughter)
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    Ta-Nehisi and I have been friends for
    about 20 years and we worked on the
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    Hilltop, Howard's school newspaper
    together
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    Yes, I worked for that
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    (laughter)
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    I was his editor at one point
    (more laughter)
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    Um... You didn't start off wanting to be
    a journalist
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    We all knew Ta-Nehisi was going to be
    special back when we were at Howard
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    We knew he was going to a famous
    writer. He was amazing in his editorial
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    writing
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    Everybody says that now
    (laughter)
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    We said that then
    (more laughter)
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    (laughter) says that now
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    We said that then. There's proof.
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    But you came to Howard wanting to be a
    historian
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    I did
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    Um and your father who runs Black
    Classic Press told you that there was the
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    power of the pen, you should be a
    journalist.
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    How did you make that switch because you
    were a history major?
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    I was... I mean um, but the path uh to
    actually becoming a historian is long
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    and it's filled with a lot of school work
    um
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    (laughter)
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    Um... by the time I got to Howard,
    my path was pretty long
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    It was filled with uh many many bad
    attempts at school work
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    and so it was fairly clear to me that
    I probably could not succeed
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    Like I probably could not, ya know um
    I just didn't think I could make it
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    Um journalism meanwhile had a
    kind of immediacy
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    You know one of the um attractions
    to me for journalism was um...
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    The basics of journalism actually
    pretty simple. Um...
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    But they have to be practiced over
    and over and over and over and over
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    and over and over and over and over
    again to actually get good at them
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    Um, the problem with journalism
    is not that it's-- it's a particularly
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    Complicated, ya know thing to do
    It's just that it takes a ton of practice
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    to get it right
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    Um and so, my process of learning
    I've always been much better um at,
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    um learning by doing? As opposed to like
    sitting back and for long periods
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    having to observe. You know that's
    always been a problem for me
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    and journalism , you know you can't learn
    journalism without actually doing
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    journalism. And so yeah I did it
    I could actually, you know, um
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    go out and pursue information
    the idea that I could go out and
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    pursue my curiosity...
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    um and immediately like
    see the fruits of that
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    I mean I was just...
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    it was tremendously attractive
    even at a school newspaper you can do
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    that, I mean you know in a way that like
    with history you can't really do it in
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    the same sort of way
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    You had a whirlwind month,
    touring, all your accolades
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    the way the book has been received,
    the Genius Grant, um
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    where are you in this moment,
    how have you been receiving the
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    reception and the accompanied criticisms?
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    Well I..I um. because I think there's some
    people here they don't tell us their names
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    but I think there some people here
    from the MacArthur Foundation
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    I have to make the correction
    that they don't like to have it called the
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    Genius Grant. It's the MacArhur Fellowship
    (laughter)
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    I stand corrected
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    laughter
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    I am not a genius
    You may address me as a genius however ,
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    but that's not because of MacArthur
    you just can't associate with it MacArthur
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    um that's just cuz of me
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    Laughter
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    Um, you know it's actually-- to be frank
    about it, it's been stunning, I mean
Title:
Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
52:43
Chicago Humanities Festival Feeds edited English subtitles for Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me
Chicago Humanities Festival Feeds edited English subtitles for Ta-Nehisi Coates: Between the World and Me

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