Baltimore Insider

Baltimore native Ta-Nehisi Coates is leaving The Atlantic

The Baltimore native and author Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Baltimore native Ta-Nehisi Coates has resigned from The Atlantic, the magazine that provided him with a national platform during his emergence during the past decade as a leading American intellectual.

Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic’s editor, sent out a memo to the staff at 3 p.m. Friday saying that while Coates will no longer be the magazine’s national correspondent after next month, his relationship with the publication will continue.


“It should go without saying — but I will say it anyway —that Ta-Nehisi will forever be a member of The Atlantic family and he will of course continue to mentor and coach many of our up-and-coming young journalists,” Goldberg wrote in the memo. “I’m hoping, of course, that Ta-Nehisi will make journalism for us again soon.”

Coates joined the magazine’s staff in 2008. His 2012 cover story, “Fear of a Black President” and in particular his 2014 essay, “The Case for Reparations” established him as a major voice on race relations in the U.S.


During recent years, he has made headlines on almost a monthly basis. His book, “Between the World and Me,” won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Two months after the book was released, Coates was named the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, commonly known as a “Genius Grant.” He followed that up with his well-received 2017 essay collection on Barack Obama’s presidency, “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy.”

In addition, Coates wrote the rebooted version of the Black Panther comic book that came out in 2016 and the Captain America comic, the first issue of which was released earlier this month.

if that weren’t enough, last December Coates was on the receiving end of a searing and very public critique from another prominent black intellectual, Harvard University’s Cornel West.

For Coates, the last few years “have been years of significant changes,” Goldberg wrote in the memo. “He's told me that he would like to take some time to reflect on these changes, and to figure out the best path forward, both as a person and as a writer.”

Coates could not be reached immediately for comment.