Skip to main content

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 'Between the World and Me' is coming to HBO and HBO Max this fall

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates in front of the Apollo Theater in New York City in 2018. (Image credit: Shahar Azran/Getty Images)

Between the World and Me — the seminal book on race and life by Ta-Nehisi Coates that was adapted into a stage show at the famed Apollo Theater in 2018 — is being adapted for HBO this fall. It'll be available on both HBO and HBO Max.

The special will be directed by Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes, and it will comprise elements of the Apollo production, including readings from Coates' book, documentary and archival footage, animation, and footage from the actors' home life.

"Ta-Nehisi’s book is a modern literary classic that provides an essential message for our times,” Casey Bloys, President, HBO Programming, said in a press release. “We are tremendously proud to bring this incredibly important event to our audiences.”

The book was the 2015 winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction and was a 2016 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

"As people across our country continue to speak out about violent, systemic racism and the urgent need for tangible change, Ta-Nehisi’s words resonate as strongly today as they did five years ago,” Forbes said in a press release. “I’m excited to collaborate again with both Ta-Nehisi and HBO on this important special event, ensuring that the powerful voices in this work and the cry for justice from the Black community continue to reach a broader audience.”

There's no better home for Between the World and Me than HBO, Coates said.

"I’ve been working with Kamilah for almost as long as I’ve been a writer,” Coates said in the press release. “I can think of no one better to put Between the World and Me on screen and no better home for it than HBO.”

Between the World and Me was published in 2015 as a letter to Coates' teenage son and tells of the author's life growing up in the inner city of Baltimore, laying the foundation for the premise that America has a strong structural support for white supremacy.

The book was adapted into a stage show and had limited runs at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center, with encore performances at the Apollo and in Atlanta in 2019.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.