Ta-Nehisi Coates On MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (AP)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (AP)

What is the most important quality of a really great writer? What is that one thing she must have?

Ta-Nehisi Coates has an answer. And he discovered it in an unlikely place: At one of the world’s most renowned science and engineering schools: MIT.

Coates is a critically-acclaimed senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly. Time Magazine named his blog one of the best of 2011. This year, he won a National Magazine Award for his article, “Fear of a Black President.”

In short, Coates knows how to write. But, last year, when MIT invited him to teach a writing course at the university, this is how Coates’ first reacted.


Ta-Nehisi Coates, a writer for The Atlantic.

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