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City University of New York
Baltimore-born Ta-Nehisi Coates makes his case
Baltimore-born Ta-Nehisi Coates makes his case

It's a crisp January evening on the campus of Loyola University Maryland in North Baltimore, and on this holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a near-capacity crowd awaits the appearance of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates strides to the Reitz Arena stage, eases his 6-foot-4 frame behind the lectern, then peers beyond the stage lights. Surveying the racially diverse audience that has come out to honor King's life and legacy, a broad smile illuminates his face. "Wow, it's a lot of people out here," he says, surveying some 1,700 students, academics, city residents, clergy and a sprinkling of politicians who are applauding enthusiastically. His beaming...