Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an African American scholar, literary critic, literary historian, memoirist, public intellectual, and PBS miniseries host. He currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, and is the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
"Is that what I want on my gravestone: Here lies an African American? I’m divided. I want to be black, to know black, to luxuriate in whatever I may be calling blackness at any particular time — but to do so in order to come out the other side, to experience a humanity that is neither colorless nor reducible to color. Bach and James Brown. Sushi and fried catfish."
— Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Colored People: A Memoir