LA JOLLA–Harvard professor and PBS documentary writer/producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will deliver a free lecture on “Genealogy, Genetics, and African-American History” at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 28 in the Price Center Ballroom. The event is open to the public with general seating. Early arrival is suggested.
Gates, considered to be one of the most influential academic voices in America, is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
In 2006 Gates wrote and produced the PBS documentary called “African-American Lives,” the first documentary series to employ genealogy and genetic science to provide an understanding of African-American history. In 2007 a follow-up documentary, “Oprah’s Roots: An African-American Lives Special,” aired on PBS, further examining the genealogical heritage of Oprah Winfrey.
The second series, “African-American Lives 2,” aired on PBS in February 2008. Gates also wrote and produced the documentaries “Wonders of the African World” (2000) and “America Beyond the Color Line” (2004) for the BBC and PBS, and authored the companion volumes to both series. PBS broadcasted his newest documentary, “Looking for Lincoln,” in February 2009.
He is most recognized for his extensive research of African-American history and literature, and for developing and expanding the African-American studies program at Harvard University. The first black to have received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, Gates is the author of many books, articles, essays, and reviews, and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. Gates, who has displayed an endless dedication to bringing African-American culture to the public, has coauthored, co-edited, and produced some of the most comprehensive African-American reference materials ever created.
Gates earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge, and his B.A. summa cum laude in History from Yale University. Before joining the faculty of Harvard in 1991, he taught at Yale, Cornell, and Duke. His many honors and grants include a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” (1981), the George Polk Award for Social Commentary (1993), Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” list (1997), a National Humanities Medal (1998), and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1999).
This special event is presented by the Council of Provosts, Thurgood Marshall College, Helen Edison Lecture Series and a consortium of university sponsors.
For more information, visit http://marshall.ucsd.edu/ or call Sarah Turner (858) 534-4004 at Thurgood Marshall College Provost Office.