Important People in We Were Eight Years in Power

Coates, Ta-Nehisi
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Ta-Nahisi Coates

Ta-Nahisi Coates, the author of the book, is a young, African American writer who is the son of a former Black Panther captain. Coates grew up in the streets of West Baltimore during the 1970s and 1980s listening to hip-hop, absorbing the black nationalist messages of his parents, and reading work by important black figures like James Baldwin and Malcolm X. These early cultural influences are reflected in his concerns in We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.

Coates was a troubled student who struggled in high school, dropped out of Howard University--becoming the only one of his siblings not to graduate from college--and had a child with his wife before marrying her. Coates struggled to find success as a writer and to support his family. An assignment to write a blog for The Atlantic in 2007 marked the beginning of his ascent. Coates's arc...

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This section contains 1,177 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the We Were Eight Years in Power Study Guide
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