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July 2020 Notable Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The library was open, unending, free.” 
— Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates was born in Baltimore, Maryland, grew up in the Mondawmin area, and graduated from Woodlawn High School. Coates' interest in books was instilled at an early age when his mother, a teacher, in response to bad behavior, would require him to write essays. As a child, Coates found escape from the often-bleak reality of West Baltimore by immersing himself in the stories of superheroes. He enjoyed comic books and Dungeons & Dragons and there found early influence for his future writing career. Coates’ father was a Vietnam War veteran, former Black Panther, publisher, and librarian. His father’s work with the Black Classic Press was a huge influence: Coates said he read many of the books his father published.

After high school, he attended Howard University, leaving after five years to start a career in journalism. Starting at The Washington City Paper, he then wrote for the Philadelphia Weekly, The Village Voice, and Time before settling in at The Atlantic. There he rose to the position of Senior Editor.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. His first novel, The Water Dancer, was released in September 2019. Ta-Nehisi is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.

Black Panther, introduced in 1966, was the first black superhero to appear in mainstream American comics. In 2016, Coates teamed up with artist Brian Stelfreeze to write the current episodes of The Black Panther, published by Marvel Comics. In 2018, Coates joined artists Keinel Yu and Adam Kubert to write and draw a new Captain America comic.  

Genre: Superhero comics

Superhero comics have remained the dominant form of comic book since the 1960s. Superhero comics tell stories about heroic people with extraordinary or superhuman abilities and skills or god-like powers and attributes (e.g. Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, The Black Panther, Wonder Woman, and Captain America) and the universes these characters inhabit.

Sample Reading List: The Black Panther, Black Panther; World of Wakanda, Black Panther and the Crew

Writer's Prompt - Fun With Words

MWA invites you to have fun writing a superhero comic.  Using 100 words, create a superhero and introduce them to the reader.

Submit your 100 words by the 25th of the month and receive an MWA Fun With Words Submission Certificate.  

Submit Your FUN WITH WORDS Prompt

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