The Things We Covet

Chris Anderson

      A 28-year-old black man by the name of Coleman Hughes popped up on Chris Anderson’s radar screen towards the end of 2022. In his capacity as head of TED Conferences, LLC (Technology, Entertainment and Design), Anderson was always on the lookout for individuals with a fresh perspective on scientific, cultural, and political topics to speak at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, Canada. 

      Mr. Hughes had become an item not because his ideas are novel. Rather, his popularity was the product of his quaint, counter-cultural message: that people should be treated equally in all circumstances—public or private—regardless of their race. Since TED’s avowed mission is to “spread ideas that spark conversation” and that move people “to think differently,” and to pursue “knowledge—without an agenda,”[1] Anderson invited Hughes to make his case for “color blindness.” Mr. Hughes accepted the invitation with alacrity[2] and delivered his remarks at the annual TED Conference held in April 2023.

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