Coates, who also penned several graphic novels for the Black Panther series, is considered a leading intellectual and has a wide readership for his writing on systemic racism.
Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic editor-in-chief, announced Coates’s departure after a decade at the magazine.
“As he has explained to me — and as he’s written in the recent past — the last few years for him have been years of significant changes. He’s told me that he would like to take some time to reflect on these changes, and to figure out the best path forward, both as a person and as a writer,” Goldberg wrote in a memo to staff.
What is the sweet part? For starters, Ta-Nehisi’s extraordinary record of achievement at The Atlantic.”
Coates’s best-known piece for The Atlantic was “The Case for Reparations,” which talked about the history of racist oppression. He is also known for his book, Between the World and Me, which was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.
Coates told the Washington Post that he wanted to focus on writing.
“I became the public face of the magazine in many ways and I don’t really want to be that. I want to be a writer,” he said. “I’m not a symbol of what The Atlantic wants to do or whatever.”