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Tag Archives: Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Watch Henry Louis Gates’ New Series, “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise”

What if Martin Luther King Jr woke up and asked, "What happened since I've been gone?" The answer is the premise of "Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise" – the latest documentary series from Henry Louis Gates Jr.The two-parter premieres on PBS November 15 at 8 p.m., with Gates serving as host, executive producer and writer. There is also a companion book, "And Still I Rise," published in 2015. In the 50 years since King was assassinated, progress in Black America has been complex. African Americans have dominated sports, music and pop culture over the past few decades, but struggled since 1965 in the economic and political realms. "Black America Since MLK" explores this multi-faceted coin, examining mass incarceration, child poverty and police brutality alongside the election of... Read More →

Henry Louis Gates Jr. Talks Education, Fundraising And Career Highlights At African-American Philanthropy Summit

Photo credit: Richard Durrah Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. spent a sunny April Saturday in Cleveland speaking frankly about money and race and aspiration. He brought a relaxed manner to a charged topic as keynote speaker before 350 participants in the biennial African American Philanthropic Summit, hosted by the Cleveland Foundation. “Black people have a long tradition of philanthropy,” said the long-time jury chair of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. “We just don’t know that. It is called the collection plate. We’ve been ponying up pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters for ages and ages. The building fund – our building always looked the same. I think it was the preacher building a Cadillac.” A laughter of recognition rolled through the conference center at Corporate College... Read More →

Henry Louis Gates Jr. Wins Peabody Award For “Many Rivers To Cross” Documentary

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.— who served as executive producer, host, and writer for "The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" —learned this week that his six-part documentary won the highest honor in broadcasting: a Peabody Award. "This is a great victory of all of us that love African-American history and those of us that want to see it become an explicably intertwined part of American culture," Gates said in a statement on TheRoot.com. "This took five years and is a great victory for our ancestors and their sacrifices, and they should be celebrated every day in a school curriculum, and my hope is that the DVD will be used in every classroom from kindergarten to college." For the first time in its 73 year history, the Peabodys were announced live on television. CBS This... Read More →

New PBS Series, “Many Rivers To Cross,” Explores The Depth Of African-American History

If you follow Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Twitter or Facebook, you are probably already privy to the bevy of heavy hitters he has recruited for his new PBS series, "The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross," premiering Oct 21. The six-part documentary features names as varied as the Black Panther Party's Kathleen Cleaver to Roots' drummer Questlove. Gates has mentioned that he is particularly proud of procuring the insights of General Colin Powell. The chair of the Anisfield-Wolf book awards serves executive producer, host and writer for the series, using his unparalleled knowledge of African-American history (and access to some of the nation's foremost historians) to flesh out what most history books only skim. The series aspires to document the entire 500-year history of... Read More →

New PBS Series Spans 500 Years Of African-American History

Anisfield-Wolf jury chair Henry Louise Gates Jr. has been busy the past few months, filming episodes of his new PBS series, "The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross." The six-part documentary will cover more than four centuries of African-American history, starting with the origins of slavery in Africa and moving to the present day.  Gates (left) interviewed Gen. Colin Powell and other influential African-Americans for his new PBS series Leading up to the series premiere, Gates has written a weekly column for TheRoot.com, "100 Amazing Facts About the Negro," in which he uncovers little-known tidbits about African-American history.  "Over the past 500 years, our ancestors in this country have been as stubborn, determined, idiosyncratic, individualistic, argumentative and complex as... Read More →

Harriet Tubman, American Hero

March 10th, 2013 was the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, a woman whose name is synonymous with bravery and freedom.  Growing up, I attended a small public school in East Cleveland, where each of the students was required to learn the following poem by Eloise Greenfield:    Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff Wasn't scared of nothing neither Didn't come in this world to be no slave And wasn't going to stay one either   "Farewell!" she sang to her friends one night She was mighty sad to leave 'em But she ran away that dark, hot night Ran looking for her freedom She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods With the slave catchers right behind her And she kept on going till she got to the North Where those mean men couldn't find her   Nineteen... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Jury Chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. Has Portrait Unveiled At National Portrait Gallery

Source: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery We've long felt honored to have Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of the nation's most preeminent African American scholars, as our jury chair. Having met him numerous times over the past few years, I'm always awed by his depth of knowledge and his ease in front of a crowd.  All of this makes him a wonderful human being and all the more deserving of his latest honor. Henry Louis Gates Jr is the one of the latest Americans to have his portrait displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. In a portrait commissioned by Harvard University, Gates is depicted with several influential works, those of W.E.B. DuBois, Wole Soyinka and Kwame Anthony Appiah.  We are very, very proud for his portrait to be included amongst some of the most... Read More →

VIDEO: Edwidge Danticat Explains What It Means To Be An Immigrant Artist

"There's no one writing in the English language today who more precisely and passionately articulates the exile's experience than Edwidge Danticat." And so begins Henry Louis Gates' introduction of our 2005 winner. In this 2012 video, Danticat discusses her work and exile, what it means to be an immigrant artist, and responsibility to one's home country. This event was co-presented by Cambridge Forum, Harvard Bookstore, and Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. Read More →

Why We’re Very Lucky To Have Henry Louis Gates Jr As Our Jury Chair

We know we highlighted him a few weeks ago, but is something to be said for a man who is so passionate, so prolific, so generous with his time, that he dedicates a significant portion of his time working with us here at Anisfield-Wolf as our jury chair. As he puts it, "Chairing the jury for the Anisfield Wolf Book Awards is one of the signal pleasures of my life. The thought that a poet—a white, female poet—had the foresight to endow a price to honor excellence and diversity, at the height of the Great Depression, is something of a miracle, isn’t it?" Gates himself is a 1989 Anisfield-Wolf award winner, for his work, The Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers. In the midst of churning out impressive tomes on African American history (or as he would put it... Read More →

Henry Louis Gates Jr On The Importance Of A Good Book

Anisfield-Wolf jury chair Henry Louis Gates has a resume a mile long. And in between his work at Harvard, his successful PBS specials, among his other numerous obligations, he found time to finish "Life On These Shores: Looking At African-American History 1513-2008," an expansive look at the experience of blacks in America from the time of arrival of the free black conquistador Juan Garrido with Ponce de León in 1513 to the election of President Obama in 2008. Gates covers subjects as diverse as NBA great Bill Russell to Malcolm X to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  The reason he's able to write such books on such expansive topics is quite simply, his love for knowledge. In this interview with the Boston Globe, he talks about his love of reading and what books he believes... Read More →
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