Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates (January 2018)

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Reading Ta-Nehisi Coates (January 2018)


An Urgent Conversation, A Renowned Author

Join us as we engage these challenges, facing our history, politics and notions of justice through the lens of America's foremost writer on race, Ta-Nehisi Coates. To read him, to think with him, is to be confronted with pressing moral, cultural, and intellectual challenges. This is a six week course, admission limited.*

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Dates: Sundays (six weeks), January 7, 14, 21, 28 & February 4, 11 
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: SE Uplift || 3534 SE Main St
$199. Space limited to 15 students. || Scholarships available. Learn more about our Pricing + Generosity Policy.

*We have found in previous iterations that the real power of this course is the dialogue between students, so unlike other PUGS courses, we are curating a diverse cohort. If you are interested in joining, please fill out this form and the instructor will contact you shortly. 

This course is a six-week dialogue about the history and legacy of race relations in America, through the work of America's foremost writer on race, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates is the author of Between the World and Me, an urgent look at race in America, which won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the new collection We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy. Coates is also a national correspondent at The Atlantic and a 2015 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship ("Genius Grant"). He writes with bracing honesty about slavery, housing discrimination, the fear and control of black bodies, and the racialized roots of American wealth.

Coates's work in The Atlantic will form the bases of our inquiries and discussions.

Week 1: "The Case for Reparations."

Week 2: “Letter to My Son.”

Week 3: "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration."

Week 4: Fear of a Black President + critiques from other black intellectuals.

Week 5: "Trump, America's First White President."

Week 6: Class choice.


Douglas Tsoi, JD, is the founder of Portland Underground Grad School (PUGS). Previous careers include teaching high school history and ethics and intellectual property law. A nationally renowned education expert called Douglas "the best teacher I've ever seen teach." At PUGS, he teaches Financial Freedom, Criminal Law: How to Think Like a Lawyer, Behavioral Economics, How to Teach, Reading Ta-Nahisi Coates, and Racial Discrimination, Big Data, and Privilege.