Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Ta-Nehisi Coates was destined to be an activist. Born in 1975, he grew up with his mother, a teacher, as the breadwinner of the family. His father, a former Black Panther, took on the duties of child rearing while running Black Classic Press, which published books regarding African-American studies. The name Ta-Nehisi is the ancient Egyptian word for Nubia. After graduating from high school, Coates enrolled in historically-black Howard University, in Washington, DC, but didn't graduate, instead opting to pursue a career in journalism. As such, he worked for the <i>Village Voice</i>, <i>The Washington City Post</i>, and <i>Time</i>, in addition to contributing to the <i>New York Times Magazine</i> and the <i>Washington Post</i>, among others. In 2008, Coates published his first memoir, <i>The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood</i>. The book told the story of Coates's upbringing in Baltimore during the crack epidemic. In 2013, Coates was awarded the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism for his piece "Fear of a Black President," which appeared in The Atlantic, where he was Senior Editor. In 2014, his piece "The Case for Reparations" for the same publication won the George Polk Award for Commentary. His second book, <i>Between the World and Me</i> was released in July 2015 and went to #1 on the <i>New York Times</i> Bestseller List. The book, structured as a letter to Coates's teenage son about growing up black in America, was called an instant classic; novelist Toni Morrison declared it "required reading."