Thomas Chatterton Williams is a cultural critic and author of Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture AND Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. His next book, Nothing Was the Same: The Pandemic Summer of George Floyd and the Shift in Western Consciousness, will be published by Knopf. He helped write and organize the 2020 open letter published in Harper’s Magazine titled, “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate,” which was signed by 153 LEADING public figures including Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama, and Margaret Atwood.
Williams is a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He had previously been a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and a Columnist at Harper’s. His work has been featured in the New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Le Monde, Liberties: A New Journal of Culture and Politics, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Travel Writing, among other places. Williams is also a 2022 Guggenheim fellow, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and he serves as a visiting professor of the humanities and senior fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College.
“In the all-consuming culture wars, Western customs and habits of thought, which are ever more conflated with oppressive ‘whiteness,’ have been pitted against oversimplified understandings of diversity and group identity.”