Poverty Expert Ta-Nahesi Coates Sells $2.1 Million Mansion Citing Fears for His Safety

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By Andrew Stiles | 12:42 pm, February 15, 2017

The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nahesi Coates, perhaps the most foremost public intellectual writing about race and poverty in America, made headlines when he purchased a 5-bedroom Brooklyn brownstone for $2.1 million in April 2016.

Now it appears the celebrated writer has sold the property, according to New York City records, parting ways with the mansion “on the most coveted block of Prospect Lefferts Gardens,” Coates’ old neighborhood.

Coates purchased the home through a shell company called Ellen and William Craft Excursions, an LLC named for two runaway slaves who wrote about their escape from captivity.

But after the New York Post reported Coates to be the buyer of the property, the prominent author announced in an Atlantic piece, “On Homecomings,” that  he was no longer planning to move in to the fancy brownstone, citing concerns for the safety of his family, and his desire to not have so many his fans knowing where he lives and coming by to try to talk to him.

“You can’t really be a black writer in this country, take certain positions and not think about your personal safety,” he wrote.

The asking price for the property was last listed at $2.24 million before entering contract, suggesting that Coates sold the brownstone for slightly more than he paid for it, but less than he originally wanted. Records show Coates initially listed the brownstone at $2.39 million, which would have a decent short-term return of nearly $300,000.

In addition to being concerned about poverty, Coates is best known for arguing in favor of reparations for slavery, and for describing former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry as “America’s most foremost public intellectual.”