Jelani Cobb, on how he curated the New Yorker's 'The Matter of Black Lives' : NPR's Book of the Day Back in June 2020, during a summer of protests for racial justice, the New Yorker republished 'Letter from a Region in my Mind," a seminal James Baldwin essay calling out the ignorance of liberal white Americans. In the following months, writer Jelani Cobb put together a collection of essays from the magazine that fit a similar theme: Black writers, including Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote pieces for the New Yorker about race and racism that still ring true today. In this interview, Cobb reflects on the essays and what it took for those Black writers to break into the magazine.

In 'The Matter of Black Lives,' generations of Black thinkers probe American racism

In 'The Matter of Black Lives,' generations of Black thinkers probe American racism

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1048421433/1048564628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Ecco
the cover of 'The Matter of Black Lives'
Ecco

Back in June 2020, during a summer of protests for racial justice, the New Yorker republished 'Letter from a Region in my Mind," a seminal James Baldwin essay calling out the ignorance of liberal white Americans. In the following months, writer Jelani Cobb put together a collection of essays from the magazine that fit a similar theme: Black writers, including Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who wrote pieces for the New Yorker about race and racism that still ring true today. In this interview, Cobb reflects on the essays and what it took for those Black writers to break into the magazine.

Want to learn more?

Find out where to buy the book here.

Read Jelani Cobb's 2016 essay "The Matter of Black Lives," which appears in the book.