HENRY LOUIS GATES JR.
Gates is a literary critic, educator, and writer who became the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. Via that fellowship, he pursued his Ph.D. and earned his Ph.D.Â in English literature at Cambridge University in the U.K.
A proponent of black literature and a scholar who has written and extensively spoken about the impact of African American culture and perspective, he has served as a Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He’s also author of several critically acclaimed books, and the writer and producer of the award-winning PBS series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.