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In a special evening celebrating National Book Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first book of fiction, he’ll be joined by Ryan Coogler, the record-breaking director of Black Panther. Coates’ newly released novel The Water Dancer offers a timely exploration of the most intimate evil of enslavement—the cleaving and separation of families. Following the story of Hiram Walker, who was born into bondage and motherless, Coates not only tells the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children, but also restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen. Bringing together two of today’s most important and groundbreaking artists who both boldly re-imagine race, history, and politics, join us for a momentous conversation in a community pillar of the vibrant Historic Crenshaw District.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of The Beautiful StruggleWe Were Eight Years in Power, and Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.


Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. His first feature film, Fruitvale Station (2013), won the top audience and grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, Creed(2015), and the Marvel film Black Panther (2018), the latter of which broke numerous box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a Black director.


Photo Credit: Ta-Nehisi Coates © Gabriella Demczuk


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