Searching for kindred spirits


In the McNichols library, I talked to several students, but almost none knew of Ta-Nehisi Coates.

So, I reached out to a librarian and asked her if she knew of Coates.

“I don’t know too much, just that he wrote books about racial injustice,” she said.

An older gentleman offered a little more.

“I know that he’s a very good writer and political,” he said.

The gentleman would not give me his name but said he had read an article by Coates not long ago.

I talked to three more students and a public safety officer who I thought would have some knowledge about Coates but I was wrong.

While speaking with the officer, another student overheard us talking and held up a book by Coates.

I sat next to the student, Ken Russ.

He is graduate student, and an alum of Howard University.

Coates is all anyone talks about in D.C., he said.

As we continued to speak, Russ showed me the book he was reading.

It was “Between the World and Me.”

“Actually an old professor recommended it. He said it was a must read,” said Russ. “I’m not too far into it yet but I’d recommend it to others.”

When asked if he knew about Coates coming to speak in Calihan Hall in April, he said yes.

“I got the email but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go,” he noted.

Russ and I talked a bit more, not just about Coates but about other black writers.

And then we said our goodbyes.