Henry Louis Gates — American Critic born on September 16, 1950,

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. is an American historian, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder. He is also an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Gates has authored or co-authored 20 books and created 14 documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, African American Lives, Black in Latin America, and Finding Your Roots, his groundbreaking genealogy series that returns to PBS for a third season in January 2016. His six-part PBS documentary series, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which he wrote, executive produced, and hosted, earned the News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program—Long Form, as well as the Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award. Having written for such leading publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Time, Gates now serves as chairman of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine he co-founded in 2008, while overseeing the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field. He has also received grant funding to develop a Finding Your Roots curriculum to teach students science through genetics and genealogy. In 2012, The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader, a collection of his writings edited by Abby Wolf, was published. His next film is the four-hour documentary series, And Still I Rise: Black America since MLK, airing on PBS in April 2016; a companion book, which he co-authored with Kevin M. Burke, was published by Ecco/HarperCollins in 2015... (wikipedia)

The sad truth is that the civil rights movement cannot be reborn until we identify the causes of black suffering, some of them self-inflicted. Why can't black leaders organize rallies around responsible sexuality, birth within marriage, parents reading to their children and students staying in school and doing homework?
For as long as I can remember, I have been passionately intrigued by 'Africa,' by the word itself, by its flora and fauna, its topographical diversity and grandeur; but above all else, by the sheer variety of the colors of its people, from tan and sepia to jet and ebony.
No one thinks of Mexico and Peru as black. But Mexico and Peru together got 700,000 Africans in the slave trade. The coast of Acapulco was a black city in the 1870s. And the Veracruz Coast on the gulf of Mexico and the Costa Chica, south of Acapulco are traditional black lands.
So when you do your family tree and Margaret Cho does hers, and... Wanda Sykes and John Legend... we're adding to the database that scholars can then draw from to generalize about the complexity of the American experience. And that's the contribution that family trees make to broader scholarship.
I give a speech to the black freshmen at Harvard each year, and I say, 'You can like Mozart and ice hockey...' - and then I used to say 'golf,' but Tiger took over golf! - 'and Picasso and still be as black as the ace of spades.'

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