Hutchins Center Honors

Since 2013, The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research has awarded the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal to those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.


Thumbnail for Harvard Gazette: "Black lives, in focus"

Harvard Gazette: "Black lives, in focus"

Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, as the first African-American president finishes his second term, the inspirational writings of W.E.B. Du Bois resound, as relevant as ever. On Thursday, as eight new recipients of the Du Bois Medal were feted, presenters and honorees alike related the great man’s writing in anecdotes both personal and political.

Thumbnail for Boston Globe: "Pam Grier among those honored at Harvard"

Boston Globe: "Pam Grier among those honored at Harvard"

Grier, the queen of ’70s blaxploitation cinema, was joined on stage by fellow honorees Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox; pioneering hip-hop artist Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer; Harvard senior Admissions Officer David Evans; David Lattin and Willie Worsley of the 1966 Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team (the first team with an all-black starting lineup to win the NCAA basketball national championship); and David Simon, writer and producer of “Homicide: Life on the Street” and creator of the acclai

Awarded since 2000, the Du Bois Medal is Harvard's highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. It is awarded to individuals in the U.S. and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African American culture and the life of the mind. Recipients have included scholars, artists, writers, journalists, philanthropists, and administrators whose work has bolstered the field of African and African American Studies.



Ursula M. Burns

David L. Evans

Pam Grier

Lana 'MC Lyte' Moorer

Jessye Norman

David Simon

The 1966 Texas Western Miners



Muhammad Ali

Richard D. Cohen

Ethelbert Cooper

Marian Wright Edelman

Mellody Hobson

Eric Holder

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Nasir "Nas" Jones

Carrie Mae Weems



David Adjaye

Maya Angelou

Harry Belafonte

Ira Berlin

John Lewis

Steve McQueen

Shonda Rhimes

Harvey Weinstein

Oprah Winfrey



    Richard D. Cohen

    Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

    Valerie Jarrett

    Tony Kushner

    John Lewis

    Sonia Sotomayor

    Steven Spielberg

    David Stern

    Donald Yacovone



    Bob Herbert

    Hugh M. "Brother Blue" Hill

    Charlayne Hunter-Gault

    Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.

    Joanne Kendall

    Frank H. Pearl

    Daniel and Joanna S. Rose

    Shirley M. Tilghman



    Chinua Achebe

    Richard Gilder

    Ingrid Saunders-Jones

    Donald E. Newhouse

    Susan Newhouse

    Richard L. Plepler

    Tamara Robinson

    Tavis Smiley



    Melba Pattillo Beals

    Elizabeth Eckford

    Richard Gilder

    Ernest G. Green

    Barbara E. Johnson

    Gloria Ray Karlmark

    Carlotta Walls LaNier

    Richard Musgrave

    Albert Murray

    Terrence Roberts

    Jefferson A. Thomas

    Minnijean Brown Trickey

    Thelma Mothershed Wair

    Vaughn Waters



    Glenn Hutchins

    Francois N’Sougan Albemagnon

    Gerard Bissainthe

    Aime Cesaire

    Bernard Dadie

    Rene Despestre

    Moune  de Rivel

    Mamadou Dia

    Yande Christiane Diop

    Marcelino Dos Santos

    Manuel dos Santos Limas

    Richard Gilder

    Edouard Glissant

    Douglas E. Harris

    Kenneth Ingraham

    Paulin Joachim

    George  Lamming

    Frederick A. Lucas, Jr.

    Ferdinand Oyono

    Marilynn S. Robinson

    Assane Seck

    Bachir Toure

    Abdoulaye Wade

    Hubert Walters

    Dennis W. Wiley



    Lawrence D. Bobo

    Marcyliena Morgan

    Nadine Gordimer

    Wole Soyinka

    Toni Morrison

    Derek Walcott



    Genevieve Fabre

    Michel Fabre



    Richard Newman



    Cornel West

    K. Anthony Appiah



    Harvey V. Fineberg



    Sheila Biddle

    Randall K. Burkett

    C.T.W. Curle

    Richard Ekman

    Francesca E. Farmer

    Clyde C. Ferguson

    Alphonse Fletcher, Jr.

    Diorita C. Fletcher

    Daniel M. Fox

    George W. Goethals

    Peter Gomes

    Leslie Skip Griffin

    Ewart Guinier

    Charles Jordan Hamilton, Jr.

    Robert La Bret Hall

    Alan Heimert

    Jeffrey P. Howard

    Octavia Hudson

    Nathan I. Huggins

    H. Stuart Hughes

    Quincy Jones

    Martin Kilson

    Sewanyana G.M. Kironde, Jr.

    Jeremy R. Knowles

    Harry M. Lasker, III

    Walter J. Leonard

    Gerald Levin

    Robert L. Listenbee, Jr.

    Gary T. Marx

    Genevieve McMillan

    Dominique de Menil

    Elvin Montgomery, Jr.

    Donald E. Newhouse

    Susan Newhouse

    Godfred P. Otuteye

    Martin Payson

    Anne Peretz

    Martin Peretz

    Wesley E. Profit

    Franklin D. Raines

    Wendy F. Raines

    Nancy Randoph

    Daniel Rose

    Joanna S. Rose

    Henry Rosovsky

    Neil L. Rudenstine

    Ruth J. Simmons

    Carl S. Sloane

    Charles W.W. Smith

    Werner Sollors

    Eileen Southern

    John D. Tyson

    Craig Michael Watson

    John W.M. Whiting

    Preston N. Williams

    Thomas Samuel Williamson, Jr.

    Ernest J. Wilson, III

    Cheryl Yvonne Wynn

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