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 Boston Magazine: "Muhammad Ali, Nas to Receive Du Bois Medal at Harvard"

Boston Magazine: "Muhammad Ali, Nas to Receive Du Bois Medal at Harvard"

So the greatest boxer of all-time, the greatest MC of all-time, and a U.S. Attorney General walk into Harvard…

This year’s recipients of the school’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal include Muhammad Ali, Nasir “Nas” Jones, and Eric Holder, who will be honored Wednesday at a ceremony on campus followed by a panel discussion. Ali, who is battling Parkinson’s disease, will appear remotely via video link.

Thumbnail for Rap-Up: "Nas Honored with W. E. B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard"

Rap-Up: "Nas Honored with W. E. B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard"

Nas is making history at Harvard. The hip-hop icon becomes the first rapper to receive the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. Looking dapper in a suit, he joined his fellow honorees including U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre on Wednesday.

Thumbnail for NBC News: "Nas, Muhammad Ali Among Recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal"

NBC News: "Nas, Muhammad Ali Among Recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal"

On Wednesday, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research honored Muhammad Ali, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; rapper Nasir "Nas" Jones; Marian Wright Edelman, The Children's Defense Fund president and founder; Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments president; artist Carrie Mae Weems, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first black woman to enroll at the University of Georgia.

Thumbnail for The Root: "Nas, Muhammad Ali and Eric Holder Receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal"

The Root: "Nas, Muhammad Ali and Eric Holder Receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal"

Every year, Harvard University honors those who have made contributions to African-American culture with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.

On Wednesday, awarded for their contributions were rapper Nas; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; boxing great Muhammad Ali; Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund; Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments; artist Carrie Mae Weems; and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first black woman to enroll at the University of Georgia.

 

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.

 

2015


Muhammad Ali

Richard D. Cohen

Ethelbert Cooper

Marian Wright Edelman

Mellody Hobson

Eric Holder

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Nasir "Nas" Jones

Carrie Mae Weems

 

2014

David Adjaye

Maya Angelou

Harry Belafonte

Ira Berlin

John Lewis

Steve McQueen

Shonda Rhimes

Harvey Weinstein

Oprah Winfrey

 

2013

    Richard D. Cohen

    Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

    Valerie Jarrett

    Tony Kushner

    John Lewis

    Sonia Sotomayor

    Steven Spielberg

    David Stern

    Donald Yacovone

     

    2009

    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

     

    2008

    Chinua Achebe

    Richard Gilder

    Ingrid Saunders-Jones

    Donald E. Newhouse

    Susan Newhouse

    Richard L. Plepler

    Tamara Robinson

    Tavis Smiley

     

    2007

    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

     

    2006

    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

     

    2005

    Lawrence D. Bobo

    Marcyliena Morgan

    Nadine Gordimer

    Wole Soyinka

    Toni Morrison

    Derek Walcott

     

    2004

    Genevieve Fabre

    Michel Fabre

     

    2003

    Richard Newman

     

    2002

    Cornel West

    K. Anthony Appiah

     

    2001

    Harvey V. Fineberg

     

    2000

    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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