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Black Classic Press

Ta-nehisi Comes Home to ASALH

Posted by W. Paul Coates on

Last month I had the wonderful experience of attending the Association for the Study of African American Life and History's annual conference. The highlight for me was attending the luncheon on Saturday. My son Ta-nehisi Coates was the special guest speaker. I sat through the luncheon thinking about his first ASALH Annual Conference.

I smiled as I remembered how his mother and I had bundled him along with all of our boxes of books into the back of our Volkswagen when he was just about a year old. We set up our book table at the conference and made a space in our booth for him to play and for Cheryl Waters-Hassan, his mom to nurse him. Yes, he was definitely breast fed.

Over the years, he grew to work the book tables at ASALH and other conferences, but this was one of his first, and now 40 years later the dude done grown up. And the ASALH membership loved having him coming home.

Of course we had to catch photos of him and his son, Samori, my grandson, in our booth - that's three generations of Coates at ASALH. Thanks brother Heru-Ka Anu for the great photos of the day and weekend. Also thanks to Sylvia Y. Cyrus and all the ASALH folks that work hard every day to keep Woodson's commitment to our history alive.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • W. Paul Coates