Ta-Nehisi Coates Wins National Book Award For 'Between The World And Me'
Author, reporter and cultural critic Ta-Nehisi Coates has won the 2015 National Book Award prize for nonfiction. The honors were announced late Wednesday night.
Coates won the award on the merits of his recent book, Between The World And Me, which serves as a deep and emotional examination of racial injustice in America, framed as a personal letter to Coates’s young son. “At the heart of our country is the notion that we are OK with the presumption that black people somehow have an angle, somehow have a predisposition to criminality,” said Coates, accepting his award.
Coates previously took home the MacArthur “genius grant” for his writings in September, a financial award donated to artists and scientists whose work is deemed essential to modern culture. The Guardian reports that Coates dedicated the award “to his friend Prince Jones, who was killed by a police officer in 2000.” The paper noted that Coates described Jones’s death as being at the center of his new book.
The New York Times has called Between The World And Me “a visceral, blunt exploration of his experience of being a black man in America, which was published this summer in the middle of a national dialogue about race relations and inequality.”
“Every day you turn on the TV and see some kind of violence being directed at black people,” Ta-Nehisi Coates said while accepting his award. “Over and over and over again. And it keeps happening.” Coates’s book was chosen out of 494 nonfiction submissions, and he will take home $10,000 in prize money.