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Sankofa Video & Books hosts author Ta-Nehisi Coates for the DC premiere of his book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

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Jada F. Smith 832-656-2654


Sankofa Video & Books hosts author Ta-Nehisi Coates for the DC premiere of his book, We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Monday, October 9, 2017


Washington, DC: Sankofa Video and Books, a beloved anchor institution in the Georgia Avenue corridor and educational resource in the Washington, DC area will host the DC Launch of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ third book, WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy, celebrating the highly anticipated and timely work of this talented son of the DMV.


The D.C. book launch will be held at the historic Metropolitan AME Church on Monday, October 9, 2017 and will feature an intimate conversation with journalist Kojo Nnamdi and Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy. Doors open at 6pm and the program will begin at 7pm. Metropolitan is located at 1518 M Street, NW. Kojo Nnamdi is currently host of The Kojo Nnamdi Show and The Politics Hour on WAMU. He hosted  WHUT-TV's Evening Exchange program from 1985 to 2011. The Washington Post has described Nnamdi as, “Maybe the best interviewer in town.”


Sankofa Video and Books was founded in 1997 by filmmakers Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, the producers of the internationally acclaimed film by the same name. For over two decades Sankofa has served as the premiere Black bookstore in the Nation’s Capital specializing in videos and books about people of African descent. The bookstore is an important meeting place, hosting author talks, film screenings, poetry readings, community discussions and more. Guests who have held readings and other events at Sankofa include Sonja Sanchez, Haki Madhubuti, Eloise Greenfield, Tananarive due, Sista Souljah, Solange Knowles and others. The store is also home to the largest collection of African-American children’s literature in the city.


Of his decision to partner with Sankofa, Coates states: "I grew up surrounded by Black books, reared by a father who spent much of his adult life either running a bookstore or a publishing company. I was made, as a writer and as a human, by Black books. Those bookstores that specialize in this literature are sacred. It is, thus, wholly appropriate that I begin my tour with Sankofa."  


In his book WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy, Ta-Nehisi Coates examines the cause and effect between the unprecedented election of Barack Obama as the first Black president, to the vicious backlash that fueled the election of Donald Trump, who Coates calls America’s “first white president.”

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy builds on Ta-Nehisi’s previously published work, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” and The Beautiful Struggle, and showcases the same riveting storytelling and laser-sharp honesty that distinguished Coates’ best-seller, Between the World and Me. WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER contains eight essays which revisit each year of the Obama administration, tracking the impact of white supremacy on our community and the nation through the personal narrative of the national correspondent for The Atlantic and National Book Award-winning author. As Coates states, “The Confederacy is not dead, and African Americans are well aware that this history is still with us.”


Ta-Nehisi Coates was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Cheryl Waters, an educator, and William Paul Coates, former Black Panther and founder of Black Classic Press, a publishing house that specializes in African-American titles. Ta-Nehisi Coates attended local schools in Baltimore, and Howard University. His first job in journalism was as a reporter for The Washington City Paper. Coates is currently a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His book, Between the World and Me, was awarded the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. Coates is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and is currently writer of the Black Panther series for Marvel Comics.  


Sankofa Video, Books and Cafe was established as a place where thoughtful consideration of the past, present and future can take place via books, videos and programming that encourage reflection. Sankofa bookstore showcases classics in Diasporan history and culture, as well as recent releases like Coates’ new book. Co-founder Shirikiana Aina states that Coates’ book launch is a perfect fit with the organization’s mission, to foster an intellectual environment, to gather, read, contemplate, discuss, challenge and be challenged. She says, “The content of Ta-Neshisi’s new book provides us all an opportunity to digest important critical  analysis and discuss next steps.” Ta-Nehisi will not sign books at the October 9, 2017 event. Copies of WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy can be acquired at the bookstore or online at sankofa.com.


The D.C. book launch of WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER: An American Tragedy is a free event but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis for general admission and premium ticket holders. VIP ticket purchasers will have reserved seats. Tickets for admission to the event and reserved seating can be accessed at: events.sankofa.com and https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sankofa-bookstore-presents-ta-nehisi-coates-washington-dc-book-launch-tickets-36785358999

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