How does Coates's perception of the Mecca change over time? How did his thinking change in college? What passion did he discover there? How did his history professors at Howard influence him?   

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"My only Mecca was, is, and shall always be Howard University."

Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in Baltimore and attended Howard University in Washington D.C., which is part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). He frequently compares it to Mecca, the holy city in Islam. Coates's grandfather was a research librarian at the school, and several relatives attended. For Coates, his time at Howard is...

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