7:46 AM / Wednesday February 21, 2018

2 Oct 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates and 23 others named this year’s winners of the MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
October 2, 2015 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Ta-Nehisi Coates


The Atlantic journalist leads a diverse group of recipients of the prestigious award.

By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.


The Atlantic journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates might be having the best year ever.

Coates’ second book, Between the World and Me, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and a firm standing on the New York Times best-seller list. It was announced earlier this month that Coates, when not performing feats akin to a black superhero like crippling systematic racism or thwarting long-standing injustice with the stroke of a pen, will actually be writing a superhero’s story as Marvel has pegged the writer to spend a year crafting the “Black Panther” comic.

And on Tuesday, it was announced that Coates, along with 23 others, has been named a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation award more commonly referred to as the “genius” grant.

“When I first got the call from the MacArthur Foundation I was ecstatic,” Coates says on a video posted to the foundation’s website. “Then I was deeply, deeply, honored. We labor in the dark. If anybody even reads what I’m doing that’s a great debt.”

The no-strings-attached grant awards recipients $625,000, paid out over five years, so that they can explore and create without the burden of financial stress. Award winners are not obligated to produce work and can spend their grant how they see fit. The award is “an investment in a person’s originality, insight and potential,” the foundation explains on its website. “The purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.”

The MacArthur “Class of 2015” recipients also includes Patrick Awuah, who once worked as a Microsoft engineer before moving back to his native Ghana and opening Ashesi University, “a four-year private institution that offers a core curriculum grounded in liberal arts, ethical principles and skills for contemporary African needs and opportunities,” the foundation website notes.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, a photographer and video artist who captures the intersection of race, health, place and family against the crumbling background of Braddock, Pennsylvania., a once-thriving steel town, is another grant recipient. At 33, Frazier is this year’s youngest MacArthur fellow.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the playwright, composer, lyricist and performer who penned the Broadway darlings In the Heights (2007) and the recently released Hamilton, and the community leader Juan Salgado both also received the prestigious award.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Go With The-Flo

Kylie Jenner revealed that she and boyfriend Travis Scott welcomed a baby girl on February 1

February 9, 2018

ABOVE PHOTO:  Kylie Jenner (Photo: By Sky Cinema / shutterstock) By Florence Anthony Another week. Another cast...

Color Of Money

Growing your business? These three financing mistakes can cost you big

February 9, 2018

ABOVE PHOTO: DR. Nacondus Gamble, owner of The South Eastern Eye Center, an optometry practice in Georgia,...

Food And Beverage

Simple Sheet Pan Suppers

February 9, 2018

ABOVE PHOTO:  Spicy Sheet Pan Roasted Jambalaya Family Features At times, spending hours in the kitchen can...


Four tips to prepare for extended power outages

February 9, 2018

BPT In the year 2018, it’s very easy to take your home’s power for granted. You flick...


CDC: 63 children dead from flu, season bad as 2009 swine flu

February 9, 2018

By Mike Stobee NEW YORK (AP) — The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S....


SUNscopes for the week of Feb. 11

February 9, 2018

All Signs: This is the last week of the year when the Sun is in Aquarius. A...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff