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, American history), filming PBS specials, his duties as the the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, and his role as the editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com, he is fully invested in his role as our jury chair. We are grateful to have Gates’ wit and deep intellect associated with this prize. We thought we’d have a little fun this Friday and share a clip of our friend on the Colbert Report, where he goes toe-to-toe with the funny man Stephen Colbert but also makes us learn a little something at the same time.