"Our colleague, and dear friend, Ta-Nehisi Coates is stepping down as a national correspondent for The Atlantic," wrote Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg in a note to staff. "As he has explained to me — and as he’s written in the recent past — the last few years for him have been years of significant changes."
"He’s told me that he would like to take some time to reflect on these changes, and to figure out the best path forward, both as a person and as a writer," Goldberg added.
Coates, 42, told the Post that he has no plans to go to another publication.
“It was this or nothing,” Coates said. “I didn’t have anything else.”
Coates is known as one of the more influential writers in the industry. He won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2015 for “Between the World and Me,” which talks in candid terms about his experience of being a black man in America.
Controversy swirled at The Atlantic in April not long after the abrupt firing of conservative and controversial writer Kevin Williamson, a move for which Coates had initially advocated. Williamson was hired and fired not long after backlash regarding his comments on abortion.
A leaked tape obtained by HuffPost later revealed that Coates said he felt like he had failed "the writers of color" at The Atlantic by endorsing Williamson.
“I was not like, 'don’t hire that dude.' To the contrary, I thought, 'OK, well he can come in and represent the position, and then we can fight it out,' ” Coates said on the leaked tape.
“I became the public face of the magazine in many ways, and I don’t really want to be that. I want to be a writer,” Coates told the Post. “I’m not a symbol of what The Atlantic wants to do or whatever.”
Coates still has plans to release a new book in the coming year. He also teaches at New York University.
He added to the Post that he's open to returning to The Atlantic to write a piece "in six months or a year."