Trayvon Martin's America

Talking in France about race and the United States. The Atlantic in Paris Dispatch #11
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A week after I arrived here, I gave a talk at the American Library in Paris. The talk was supposed to be about my book, The Beautiful Struggle. But the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial came down earlier that week. I decided instead to say a few words about the long historical process that led to Martin's death. For those of you who regularly read this blog, a lot of this will be familiar. For the talk I pulled from the growing notebook that is this space.

I want to thank the American Library in Paris for hosting me, and thank all the ex-pats (they are legion) who came out to listen. It is shocking how many people around the world are watching us. Around the city here, everyone knew about the case.


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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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