United States, 1981
cultural critic and author Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race

Thomas Chatterton Williams

Thomas Chatterton Williams is a cultural critic and author. After his studies in philosophy at Georgetown and graduate work at the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at nyu, he published Losing My Cool: Love, Literature and a Black Man’s Escape from the Crowd (2010), in which he portrays the allure and danger of hip-hop culture and evokes the salvation that literature offers. His second book Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race (2019) made him one of the most prominent voices on race issues in the United States. In 2020, he helped write and organize ‘A Letter on Justice and Open Debate’. This defense of freedom of expression in a climate of growing censoriousness was signed by over 150 other public figures (including J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Michael Ignatieff) and published in Harper’s Magazine and reprinted in newspapers around the world. Williams is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, a columnist at Harper’s, and the recipient of a Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. He lives in Paris with his wife and children.

Speaker at


Nexus Conference 2020

A New Age of Anxiety

Saturday 14 November NO&B