5:57 PM / Tuesday March 28, 2023

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


Philadelphia Water Department is now confident tap water will remain safe to drink and use at least through 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 27, 2023.

March 26, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email Based on updated hydraulic modeling and the latest sampling results and data, the...


 20 years after US invasion, young Iraqis see signs of hope

March 24, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: People take part in the Baghdad Kite Festival in Baghdad, Iraq,...


What to know about Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA investigating Trump

March 24, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg participates in a news conference in...

Color Of Money

The average U.S. home equity is $300K: How to protect your biggest investment

March 24, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Your home is likely the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime,...


WHERE TO BUY WATER in Philadelphia (Shoprite, Fresh Grocer & Acme Markets)

March 27, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts Philadelphia Water Department is now confident tap water...

Go With The-Flo

Vice President Kamala Harris gave a women’s history brunch co-hosted by Glamour magazine at her residence in Washington D.C.

March 24, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Vice President Kamala Harris (Photo: By Flo Anthony March is...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff