Ta-Nehisi Coates is assembling this year’s Festival Albertine in New York City

by Nicholas Martinez

This event comes at a time when the racial and political climate of today needs radical change and conversations like these will help improve people’s understanding of our society at large.

The world-renowned writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates is assembling this year’s Festival Albertine in New York City. The festival is scheduled to run from November 2-6 and is going to be held at Albertine Books, a well-established bookstore that is administered by the French embassy. This free five-day event is anticipated to bring together French and American visionaries and thinkers.

Among the participants are well-known names that will join him in discussions involving black identity in the United States and France. American orators include artist Kehinde Wiley, choreographer and dancer Benjamin Milliepied, and Thelma Golden, current director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem. In addition to these American cultural icons, their French counterparts include the sociologist and anthropologist Nacira Guenif-Souilamas, the author Amin Maalouf, and the dancer and choreographer Benjamin Milliepied.

These revolutionaries’ presentations will include the influential Black Lives Matter movement, the scary rate at which right-wing politicians like Trump are actually gaining notoriety, and how both of these countries have failed to implement policies that will change the attitudes towards immigration which shape the interaction with the broader world.

In his recent return to New York after a year-long absence in Paris, Coates draws his inspiration from the seminal writer James Baldwin. Baldwin’s themes on race and representation allow for, as Coates explains, “…something both sanguine and challenging in Baldwin’s view. It proposes that conflicts between cultures are inevitable but the result of policies and decisions. But it also puts responsibility on people, themselves, to make the requisite changes in policy.”

Image via Willamette News