ta-nehisi coates (mcarther)

* The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has chosen writer/blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates (pictured) to be among the 24 recipients of “genius” grants from the organization.

“When I first got the call from the MacArthur foundation I was ecstatic,” Coates said in a video on the foundation website. “You know, if anybody even reads what I’m doing, that’s a great day.”

Coates, also national correspondent at The Atlantic was referred to by the foundation as “a highly distinctive voice [who is] emerging as a leading interpreter of American concerns to a new generation of media-savvy audiences and having a profound impact on the discussion of race and racism in this country.”

They also added this:

“Writing without shallow polemic and in a measured style, Coates addresses complex and challenging issues such as racial identity, systemic racial bias, and urban policing. He subtly embeds the present—in the form of anecdotes about himself or others—into historical analysis in order to illustrate how the implications of the past are still experienced by people today.”

(Get the full story at The Atlantic.)

Also making news is the call from Jamaica for Britain to pay billions of pounds in reparations for slavery.

The message is being delivered ahead of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official visit to Jamaica on Tuesday

It should come as no surprise that Downing Street says the prime minister does not believe reparations or apologies for slavery are the right approach. But most likely the issue will overshadow Cameron’s trade trip to the island, where he will address the Jamaican parliament.

Here’s what The Guardian is reporting:

Ahead of his trip, Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the Caricom Reparations Commission, has led calls for Cameron to start talks on making amends for slavery and referenced the prime minister’s ancestral links to the trade in the 1700s through his cousin six times removed, General Sir James Duff.

In an open letter in the Jamaica Observer, the academic wrote: “You are a grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors … You are, Sir, a prized product of this land and the bonanza benefits reaped by your family and inherited by you continue to bind us together like birds of a feather.

“We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint programme of rehabilitation and renewal. The continuing suffering of our people, Sir, is as much your nation’s duty to alleviate as it is ours to resolve in steadfast acts of self-responsibility.”

(Read/learn MORE at The Guardian.)