Jelani Cobb

Cindy Seip

Jelani Cobb is a historian and a professor of journalism at Columbia University. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015, he is a recipient of the Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis and fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation. Reaching back across a century through writings on race in America, The Matter of Black Lives: Writing from The New Yorker (Ecco), co-edited with David Remnick, includes Rebecca West’s classic account of a 1947 lynching trial and James Baldwin’s Letter from a Region in My Mind, weighty additions to a collection that brings together reporting, profiles, memoir, and criticism by writers such as Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Hilton Als, Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Elizabeth Alexander, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Malcolm Gladwell. Publishers Weekly called it “an essential volume for readers interested in the Black past and present, as all readers should be.”