The Rock Ethics Institute

Home > Events > African American Lives: Searching for Our Identity

Events

African American Lives: Searching for Our Identity

When Nov 29, 2007
from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where Schwab Auditorium
Add event to calendar vCal
iCal

HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR.

 

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University. Professor Gates is co-editor with K. Anthony Appiah of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (1999). He is the author of Wonders of the African World(1999), the book companion to the six-hour BBC/PBS television series of the same name. Professor Gates is the author of several works of literary criticism, including Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the “Racial” Self (Oxford University Press, 1987), The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (Oxford, 1988), 1989 winner of the American Book Award, and Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (Oxford, 1992). He has also authored Colored People: A Memoir (Knopf, 1994), which traces his childhood experiences in a small West Virginia town in the 1950s and 1960s, The Future of the Race (Knopf, 1996) co-authored with Cornel West, and Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (Random House, 1997). Professor Gates is most recently the author of Finding Oprah’s Roots, Finding Your Own(Crown, 2007), a meditation on genetics, genealogy, and race that is the companion volume to the PBS documentary Oprah's Roots. He is currently at work on the second installment of the PBS documentary series African American Lives.

African American Lives: Searching for Our Identity

For some Americans, the question “Where do I come from?” remains just that: a question. Documents have been destroyed, ancestors lost, history stolen. But genealogical research and pathbreaking DNA analysis are providing answers to this question for growing numbers of Americans, including African Americans. We are now able to answer questions that slavery seemingly made unanswerable. “African American Lives” is a first step in recovering African American history and transforming our understanding of our present place in the world.