Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor
Director, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research
Hutchins Center Executive Committee
p: 617.495.8508 Fax:617.495.9590

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder,...

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Vineyard Gazette: Hutchins Forum Conversation Recasts Culture Wars

Vineyard Gazette: Hutchins Forum Conversation Recasts Culture Wars

August 22, 2022

“It’s a boiling time in America, and not just because of climate change.”

So Henry Louis Gates, Jr., introduced the 2022 Hutchins Forum, a discussion of race and the American culture wars at the Old Whaling Church on August 18. An extension of Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the forum brought together academics, journalists, and professors to discuss the cultural tensions present in public discourse and the media.

Harvard Gazette: 'Recovering the life stories of the Zealy daguerreotype subjects'

Harvard Gazette: 'Recovering the life stories of the Zealy daguerreotype subjects'

April 12, 2021
The disturbing nature of the Zealy daguerreotypes, depicting enslaved Africans in 19th-century America, stems in part from the treatment of their subjects. In these images, commissioned by Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz and currently housed at the Peabody Museum, the slaves are robbed of their life stories as well as their basic humanity.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Harvard Gazette: 'Gates recognized for his scholarship in the humanities'

January 27, 2021
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has named Henry Louis Gates Jr. the recipient of the Don M. Randel Award for Humanistic Studies. The award — which is being given for only the seventh time since it was established in 1975 — recognizes remarkable scholars whose work shapes our inner lives and our understanding of the world around us.
Washington Post: 'A massive new effort to name millions sold into bondage during the transatlantic slave trade'

Washington Post: 'A massive new effort to name millions sold into bondage during the transatlantic slave trade'

December 1, 2020
Daryle Williams was emotionally torn, pushing the decision right up against deadline. As a history professor at the University of Maryland, Williams had been researching the slave trade in 19th-century Brazil when he came upon two newspaper ads featuring runaway Africans. One mentioned a mother, Sancha, escaping with her two sons — Luis, 9, and Tiburcio, 4 — in 1855. The other referenced a young woman, Theresa, who fled with her nursing daughter, in 1842.
The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Claude Steele, Lawrence D. Bobo, Michael Dawson, Gerald Jaynes, Lisa Crooms-Robinson, and Linda Darling-Hammond, ed. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present. Oxford University Press. Abstract

When newly-liberated African American slaves attempted to enter the marketplace and exercise their rights as citizens of the United States in 1865, few, if any, Americans expected that, a century and a half later, the class divide between black and white Americans would be as wide as it is today. The United States has faced several potential key turning points in the status of African Americans over the course of its history, yet at each of these points the prevailing understanding of African Americans and their place in the economic and political fabric of the country was at best contested and resolved on the side of second-class citizenship.

The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present seeks to answer the question of what the United States would look like today if, at the end of the Civil War, freed slaves had been granted full political, social and economic rights. It does so by tracing the historical evolution of African American experiences, from the dawn of Reconstruction onward, through the perspectives of sociology, political science, law, economics, education and psychology. As a whole, the book is the first systematic study of the gap between promise and performance of African Americans since 1865. Over the course of thirty-four chapters, written by some of the most eminent scholars of African American studies and across every major social discipline, this handbook presents a full and powerful portrait of the particular hurdles faced by African Americans and the distinctive contributions African Americans have made to the development of U.S. institutions and culture. As such, it tracks where African Americans have been in order to better illuminate the path ahead.

The Classic Slave Narratives
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed. 2012. The Classic Slave Narratives. Reissue Edition, Signet Classics. Abstract

Before the end of the Civil War, more than one hundred former slaves had published moving stories of their captivity and escape, joined by a similar number after the war. No group of slaves anywhere, in any other era, has left such prolific testimony to the horror of bondage and servitude.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of America's top experts in African American studies, presents four of these classic narratives that illustrate the real nature of black experience in slavery.

Fascinating and powerful, this collection includes four of the best-known examples: the lives of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs (alias Linda Brent), Mary Price, and Olaudah Equiano (alias Gustavus Vassa). These amazing stories are not only first-person histories of the highest caliber, they are also a unique literary form that has given birth to the spirit, vitality, and vision of America's modern black writers.

Updated with the ninth edition of The Life of Olaudah Equiano, the last edition he revised and published in his lifetime.

Twelve Years a Slave
Northup, Solomon. 2012. Twelve Years a Slave. Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.. Introduction by Ira Berlin. Penguin Classics.

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