Coates is an advocate for social justice and uses personal experience and history to explore issues surrounding culture, poverty, and race. See an interview with Coates here.
And check out his books, available at Langsdale:
Between the World and Me – a novel written in the form of a letter to his teenage son about the realities of being black in the United States
The Beautiful Struggle – a memoir on Coates' unique family life and growing up in west Baltimore