"Plunder explains so much about what we see in our communities today," Ta-Nehisi Coates told a packed house of students, faculty, staff and community members at the Liacouras Center last month.

The talk by the acclaimed writer and MacArthur Foundation fellow kicked off the Department of History's plunder series, which will explore themes around plunder through various courses, lectures and special events. As part of the series, Boston University professor Jonathan Zatlin and New York Times film critic A.O. Scott will also give public lectures on campus.

Coates discussed the concept of plunder throughout American history, race, and citizens' responsibility to vote. He also read an excerpt from his award-winning book, Between the World and Me.

"Our task," Coates said, "is to see the facts as they are. To see the world as it is, to see our country as it is. Even as painful as it might be to look at it in that way."

Coates's visit was sponsored by the Department of History and Temple's Intellectual Heritage program. Additional support was provided by the Honors program, the General Education program, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL), the Paley Library, the Blockson Collection, Student Activities, Student Affairs, and Temple Contemporary.

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