Gates to discuss genealogy, African American history

Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. will speak on "Genealogy, Genetics and African American History" at 2 p.m. Friday, March 5, in Room 104 of Princeton's Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, 58 Prospect Ave.

Gates is one of the nation's leading figures in African American studies. He is the host of the public television documentary series "African American Lives," which investigates the black American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history, and "Faces of America," which explores the family histories of 12 well-known Americans. The series present genetic analysis to trace the ancestry of public figures such as poet Maya Angelou, comedians Chris Rock and Stephen Colbert, and actors Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman and Don Cheadle.

Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard. His most recent book is "In Search of Our Roots," in which he expands on interviews he conducted for the "African American Lives" series. Gates also is editor-in-chief of, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community, and the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American and Africana studies. He is co-editor, with Princeton scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah, of "Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience."

The event is cosponsored by the University Center for Human Values, the Council of the Humanities, the Department of English, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, the Center for African American Studies and the Program in African Studies.