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Ta-Nehisi Coates On His Debut Novel

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Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates testifies during a hearing on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Washington, DC. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 bill, which proposes a commission be formed to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans.

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"When the hero is always white, there are subtle messages sent out to the culture. I wanted a hero who was black ... I just felt like it was our time," author Ta-Nehisi Coates told us.

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