May 20: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to Lecture @ Lawrenceville

The Lawrenceville School will welcome renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to campus on May 20. Gates will speak in the Kirby Arts Center on May 20 beginning at 7:00 p.m. and will sign copies of his latest book, “Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow,” following the talk. Due to limited seating, this lecture is open only to current members of the School community and Lawrenceville alumni. No tickets necessary, no assigned seating.
Gates is speaking as part of the School’s 2019 Capstone lecture series on race, through which Fifth Formers have explored the topic via biological, historical, psychological, and social perspectives. Gates is the last scholar in the seven lecture series, which has included talks by winners of the Pultizer Prize and National Humanities Medal.
Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Gates has authored or co-authored 21 books and created 20 documentary films. The recipient of 55 honorary degrees and numerous prizes, Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation in 1981, and in 1998, he became the first African American scholar to receive the National Humanities Medal. In 2002, he received the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities, selection as a Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2008, he earned the Ralph Lowell Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the premier honor in public television. He was among Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential People” in 1997 and earned spots on Ebony magazine’s “100 Most Influential Black Americans” list in 2005 and “Power 150” list in 2009.
Gates published his first book in 1987 (“Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the ‘Racial’ Self”) and has been an influential author in the fields of African American studies, history, and literature for more than three decades. He received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize in 1989 for “The Schomburg Library of Nineteenth-Century Black Women Writers” (30 Volumes). Gates has also written for Time magazine, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.
PBS viewers will also know Gates as the producer and host of several highly acclaimed series, including “Finding Your Roots,” “Wonders of the African World,” “America Beyond the Color Line,” “Looking for Lincoln,” “Faces of America,” and two editions of “African American Lives.” His documentary series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program-Long Form, as well as a Peabody Award, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, and NAACP Image Award.
Gates earned his B.A. in English Language and Literature, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1973, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge in 1979.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at

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