Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. is a literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, and public intellectual.
Gates currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is Chair of the African and African American Studies Department and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
As a prominent black intellectual, Gates has focused throughout his career not only on his research and teaching but on building academic institutions to study black culture. Additionally, he has worked to bring about social, educational, and intellectual equality for black Americans and has written pieces in “The New York Times” that defend rap music and an article in “Sports Illustrated” that criticizes black youth culture for glorifying basketball over education. In 1992, he received a George Polk Award for his social commentary in “The New York Times”.
In 2006, Gates was appointed the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor at Harvard University. He currently chairs the Fletcher Foundation.