Thomas Chatterton Williams

Eric & Wendy Schmidt Fellow, 2019

Thomas Chatterton Williams, Eric & Wendy Schmidt Fellow, spent his fellowship year completing a book of nonfiction, Self-Portrait in Black and White, stemming from his experience as the black American father of two white-looking children in Paris. It concerns itself with three deceptively simple questions: What, if anything, remains “black” in my blond-haired, blue-eyed children? What—if I’m a "black" man capable of having kids who look like this—does “race” as we construct it even mean? And what might all of our lives look like should we dare to see past the color line? He is also the author of a memoir, Losing My Cool, and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. He has received support from Yaddo and MacDowell and is the recipient of a Berlin Prize.

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