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Black Mountain Institute


Named one of Time Magazine‘s "25 Most Influential Americans," Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is among the most prominent scholars on African American culture, history and literature of our time. Gates rose from a working class West Virginia family to become the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Gates became enthralled with African and African American literature while under the tutelage of Wole Soyinka - BMI advisory board member, Nobel Laureate, and former Elias Ghanem Professor of Creative Writing at UNLV - and in 1981 was awarded one of the first MacArthur Foundation Fellowships for his work.

In early 2006, Gates wrote and produced African American Lives for PBS, the first documentary series incorporating genealogy and science in an effort to understand African American history. "This is one of the most exciting projects in which I have been involved," said Gates. "It is about African American history, of course, but on a deeply personal level. Slavery deprived African Americans of their historical and familial memory, and this series is an attempt to restore that memory on both sides of the Atlantic." At this event, Gates, the W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Humanities and chair of African American Studies at Harvard, discusses and shows clips from his documentary.


African Americans – Genealogy; African Americans—History


African American Studies | American Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies




Doc Rando Hall, UNLV

Audio/Video File size: 417 megabytes

Additional audio file size: 74.2 megabytes

gates20november06.mp3 (75647 kB)
MP3 recording of event