Henry Louis Gates Quotes
A collection of quotes by Henry Louis Gates.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., also known as Skip Gates, is an American literary critic, educator, historian, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He was born on September 16, 1950, in Keyser, West Virginia. Throughout his career, Gates has made significant contributions to African American studies and has played a crucial role in promoting a broader understanding of African American history and culture.
Gates has been a prominent figure in academia, currently serving as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. With a deep passion for literature, Gates is widely recognized for his literary criticism and scholarship, particularly his exploration of African American literature.
As a renowned documentarian and filmmaker, Gates has produced and hosted several groundbreaking television series, including "Finding Your Roots" and "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross." Through his documentaries, he has shed light on the often untold stories of African American achievements, struggles, and resilience.
Gates' works have received numerous awards and accolades, including numerous Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. He has authored many books, including "The Signifying Monkey" and "Life Upon These Shores," which explore African American literature, history, and culture.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is widely regarded as a leading scholar and cultural figure, amplifying the voices and experiences of African Americans through his multifaceted career as an educator, historian, critic, and filmmaker.
The only people who live in a post-black world are four people who live in a little white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. The idea that America is post-racial or post-black because a man I admire, Barack Obama, is president of the United States, is a joke. And I hope no one will even wonder about this crazy fiction again.
The historical basis for the gap between the black middle class and underclass shows that ending discrimination, by itself, would not eradicate black poverty and dysfunction. We also need intervention to promulgate a middle-class ethic of success among the poor, while expanding opportunities for economic betterment.
Patriotism is best exemplified through auto-critique. When you're willing to stand up within the group and say, 'It is wrong for Black people to be anti-Semitic,' or 'It is wrong for America to discriminate against persons of African descent and made them slaves and based its wealth upon free labor,' it's crucial to say that.
What people forget is that the most radical thing about Obama is that he was the first black man in history to imagine that he could become president, who was able to make other Americans believe it as well. Other than that, he is a centrist, just like I try to be. He's been bridging divisions his whole life.
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 first learned that there were black people living in some place called other than the United States in the western hemisphere when I was a very little boy, and my father told me that when he was a boy about my age, he wanted to be an Episcopal priest, because he so admired his priest, a black man from someplace called Haiti.
But you see, our society is still trapped in this binary, black/white logic and that has had some very positive implications for our generation. It's had some very negative ones as well and one of the negative ones is that it creates enormous identity problems for people who have one black ancestor and all white ancestors for example.