“Barack Obama is what comes at the end of that bridge in Selma.”
-Veteran congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis
Obama’s election as the first African-American President came at the end of a personal journey that intersected with the history of race in American politics.
• What does it mean for America, 150 years since the commencement of the Civil War to have a black president?
• What was it about Obama that allowed him to break this barrier?
• Is Obama a symbol of how much the country has changed, or is he changing the country himself.
• What separated him, historically and personally, from generations of civil-rights leaders and other black politicians?
• How, as a writer and as a politician, did he go about making his personal story emblematic of the American story?
These are just some of the questions examined in The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama that will be explored in a discussion between David Remnick and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
About David Remnick
David Remnick won the Pulitzer Prize for his book Lenin's Tomb, about the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he is also the author of King of the World, a best-selling work on the evolution of Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali in the midst of the civil-rights movement. Remnick joined The New Yorker as a writer in 1992 and has been the magazine’s editor since 1998.
About Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues for TheAtlantic.com and the magazine. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.
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This event is located in the Celeste Bartos Forum of The New York Public Library. Enter on 42nd Street near 5th Avenue and proceed to Celeste Bartos Forum.
Box office opens at 5:00pm, Doors open at 6:15pm, Program begins at 7:00pm. Arrive early for seats!