The author of the new book that sparked a Twitter attack from Cornel West will speak from ‘We Were Eight Years in Power,’ at the Miami Dade Wolfson Campus on Jan. 11.


Staff Report

MIAMI – Cornel West is decidedly not a fan, based on a tweet from the Harvard professor about Ta-Nehisi Coates that resulted in Coates shutting down his Twitter account.

The book that promoted the social media battle, ‘We Were Eight Years in Power,’ is the topic of discussion at ‘An Evening with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7pm in MDC’s Wolfson Campus Chapman room. Tickets are $30 per person and include a copy of the book. Sponsored by Books & Books and Miami Book Fair, the conversation will be moderated by Nadege Green, who covers social justice issues for WLRN.

In 2008, National Book Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates is said to have gone from believing that a black president was impossible, to being challenged by the sudden prospect of one. In his new book, ‘We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy,’ Coates recalls the moment: “I remember how Obama caused me to question myself and my basic relationship with my country. All my life I had seen myself, and my people, backed into a corner. Had I been wrong?”

More than an analysis of our first black president, is Coates’ personal narrative that examines the symbiosis of Obama’s influence on American culture, the author’s intellectual and professional growth, and the inspiring new voices, ideas, and movements that emerged together over this period. Comprised of eight fresh essays, Coates revisits each year of the Obama administration through his own experiences and observations, and nine iconic essays previously published in ‘The Atlantic,’

including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” and more.

In a tweet, West said Coates, “fetishizes white supremacy. His analysis/vision of our world is too narrow & dangerously misleading, omitting the centrality of Wall Street power, US military policies, & the complex dynamics of class, gender, & sexuality in black America.” A white supremacist agreed with West, and Coates, despite having more than 1.25 million followers, decided to deactivate his Twitter account with “peace y’all, I’m out. i didn’t get in it for this,” apparently as a result.

For tickets, go to or call 305-442-4408.