Evanston Township High School will host “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” with Ta-Nehisi Coates on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00pm, in the school auditorium. The event, free and open to the public, is suitable for ages 12 and up.

In 2008, National Book Award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates went 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, Mr. Coates asks, “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?” Part memoir, part polemic, Mr. Coates offers his intimate and revealing perspective – the point of view of a young writer who begins his journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing Barack Obama.

We Were Eight Years in Power is a personal narrative that examines the symbiosis of Obama’s influence on American culture, Mr. Coates’ intellectual and professional growth, and the inspiring new voices, ideas, and movements that emerged together over this period. “We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the rise of the Jim Crow South. Mr. Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, and author of the #1 bestseller Between the World and Me, winner of the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and has received the National Magazine Award and the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.

Coates will be interviewed by ETHS Assistant Superintendent and Principal Marcus Campbell, Ed.D. At the conclusion of the presentation, the audience has the opportunity to participate in a discussion with Dr. Campbell, clinical psychologist Melissa Blount, Ph.D., and designer Ben Blount of Evanston. RSVPs are not required for the FAN event or post-event discussion at ETHS. The line forms at 5:00pm and doors open at 6:00pm for the 7:00pm event start time. Seating is first-come, first-served. Overflow seating is available.

ETHS is located at 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston, 60201. The auditorium is wheelchair accessible. Guests should plan to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to 7:00pm to find parking and seats. Parking is available in the lot across from the main entrance, off of Dodge Avenue, or in the lots behind the high school. Parking is also available along Dodge Avenue according to posted City of Evanston signs.

The October 18 presentation is sponsored by Family Action Network (FAN), in partnership with Baker Demonstration School, Chiaravalle Montessori School, Erikson Institute, Evanston Township High School D202, Francis W. Parker School, Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, New Trier Multifaith Alliance, North Shore Country Day School, and Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.).

For more information about FAN events and sponsors for the 2017-18 presentations, visit www.familyactionnetwork.net.