Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2014)—The Atlantic’s June cover story, The Case for Reparations by National Correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates, has sparked a national conversation over how to reckon with the “moral debt” America has accrued: the powerful, nearly 16,000-word piece challenges the country to contend with consequences of a history of racism. Tonight, Coates will join fellow Atlantic National Correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg to discuss the groundbreaking piece at a sold-out event at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. Join the conversation by watching the interview via live webcast at 7 PM, ET.
The hour-long discussion will focus on the narrative Coates weaves in “The Case for Reparations,” and what the public response to his story says about the country’s readiness to address the repercussions of a history of racism. The focus of his piece is Chicago’s West Side; he traces that neighborhood’s skyrocketing poverty, infant-mortality, unemployment, and homicide rates to the redlining officially mandated by the Federal Housing Administration after World War II. In moving interviews, Coates documents the predatory loans that were the only choice available to would-be black homeowners in Chicago—and the countermovement, the Contract Buyers League, that sprung up in the late 1960s seeking, in essence, reparations.
Goldberg is an expert on the subject of reparations. For many years, he covered the controversies surrounding reparations to Jews victimized by Nazi Germany, and by Swiss and German banks, during the Holocaust.
Media with questions regarding the event should contact the press leads below. All quotes excerpted from the interview must be attributed to The Atlantic’s event.