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2018 Gordon Parks Foundation Gala

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When it comes to racism and social justice in the United States, there’s no mind better suited to dissecting the ins and outs than Ta-Nehisi Coates, so when Vanity Fair decided to devote their September Issue to activism, they put him in the driver’s seat and had him guest edit the very special issue.

Vanity Fair’s editor in chief Radhika Jones made the announcement today that Ta-Nehisi Coates is serving as guest editor for the special edition exploring art, activism, and power in 21st-century America.

“There’s no one better suited than Ta-Nehisi to illuminate this urgent moment in American history—to answer the question, why is this time different?,” said Jones. “We are honored to collaborate with him on this project, bringing together the writers, artists, and icons whose work pushes us toward a more just world.”

Coates is the bestselling author of The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, Between the World and Me, and The Water Dancer. He is also the current author of the Marvel comics Black Panther and Captain America.

“I’m honored to be partnering with Radhika and the entire Vanity Fair staff on this project,” said Coates. “Equally, I’m humbled that so many of this country’s best writers and artists have agreed to participate. The moment is too big for any one of us to address alone.”

Working closely with the editorial and creative teams, Coates is helping oversee almost every aspect of the magazine’s production, including story assigning and editing, writer and photographer selection, art direction, design, display, and multimedia projects.

In addition to Coates, the September issue features more than 40 prominent writers, artists, and photographers, including Eve L. Ewing, Bomani Jones, Ava DuVernay, Josie Duffy Rice, Jesmyn Ward, Danez Smith, Deana Lawson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Kiese Makeba Laymon, Jacqueline Woodson, Franklin Leonard, Kimberly Drew, Hank Willis Thomas, Diana Ejaita, Marjon Carlos, Zerina Akers, Ruth Ossai, Shawn Martinbrough, Ola Ebiti, Calida Rawles, Renell Medrano, Lynsey Weatherspoon, Jason Bolden, Dana Scruggs, Phylicia J. L. Munn, Levi Walton, Lawrence Agyei, Braylen Dion, Bruce Bennett, Paul Octavious, Shan Wallace, Djeneba Aduayom, Wulf Bradley, Miranda Barnes, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Sophia Wilson, Erik Carter, Kennedi Carter, Myles Loftin, Quil Lemons, Adrienne Raquel, Andrea Ellen Reed, John Edmonds, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, and Monica Ahanonu.

The September issue of Vanity Fair hits newsstands September 1.

We’re excited about this one. Vanity Fair hasn’t been the most diverse publication in the past but we’re happy to see they are taking the necessary steps to be agents for change in media.

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