quarta-feira, 22 de julho de 2009

Professor de Harvard negro é confundido com bandido

Enviado por Míriam Leitão -
Na terra de Obama

Professor de Harvard negro é confundido com bandido

Esse é Louis Gates. A foto foi feita por um vizinho. Ele é professor de Harvard, mas foi preso pela polícia em sua própria casa. Ele tinha viajado para a China. Voltou, a chave travou na porta de casa, o motorista de táxi foi ajudá-lo a abrir a porta. Uma vizinha, branca, chamou a polícia avisando que tinha dois negros tentando arrombar a porta da casa. A polícia chegou, entrou na casa e o prendeu. Ele se identificou como professor de Harvard. Ninguém acreditou. E ele foi levado preso. Irritadíssimo, tentou explicar para a polícia quem era.

A história rola desde ontem nos Estados Unidos. Ele teve que assinar um termo de compromisso para se livrar da acusação de desacato. Tudo na terra de Obama.

Gates é diretor do Instituto de Pesquisa Afro-Americano de Harvard. Em 1997 foi considerado um dos americanos mais influentes pela Revista Time.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Born September 16, 1950 (1950-09-16) (age 58)
Piedmont, West Virginia, United States
Occupation Author, essayist, literary critic, professor
Nationality United States
Genres Essay, history, literature
Subjects African American Studies

Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr. (born September 16, 1950) is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, and public intellectual. Gates currently serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.




Early years

Gates was born in Piedmont, West Virginia, to Pauline Augusta Coleman and Henry Louis Gates, Sr. He went to Yale and gained his B.A. summa cum laude in History. The first African-American to be awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, the day after his undergraduate commencement, Gates set sail on the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 for the University of Cambridge, where he studied English literature at Clare College. With the assistance of a Ford Foundation Fellowship, he worked toward his Ph.D. in English. While his work in history at Yale had trained him in archival work, Gates' studies at Clare introduced him to English literature and literary theory.

At Clare College, Gates was also able to work with Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian writer denied an appointment in the department because, as Gates later recalled, African literature was at the time deemed "at best, sociology or socio-anthropology, but it was not real literature."[1] Soyinka would later become the first black African to be awarded the Nobel Prize; he remained an influential mentor for Gates and became the subject of numerous works by Gates. Finding mentors in those with whom he shared a "common sensibility" rather than an ethnicity, Gates also counts Raymond Williams, George Steiner, and John Holloway among the European scholars who influenced him.


Gates withdrew after a month at Yale Law School, and in October 1975 he was hired by Charles T. Davis as a secretary in the Afro-American Studies department at Yale. In July 1976, Gates was promoted to the post of Lecturer in Afro-American Studies with the understanding that he would be promoted to Assistant Professor upon completion of his dissertation. Jointly appointed to assistant professorships in English and Afro-American Studies in 1979, Gates was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984. After being denied tenure, he left for Cornell in 1985, and stayed until 1989. After a two-year stay at Duke University, he moved to his current position at Harvard University in 1991. At Harvard, Gates teaches undergraduate and graduate courses as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and as Professor of English.[2] Additionally, he serves as the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

As a literary theorist and critic, meanwhile, Gates has combined literary techniques of deconstruction with native African literary traditions; he draws on structuralism, post-structuralism, and semiotics to textual analysis and matters of identity politics. As a black intellectual and public figure, Gates has been an outspoken critic of the Eurocentric literary canon and has instead insisted that black literature must be evaluated by the aesthetic criteria of its culture of origin, not criteria imported from Western or European cultural traditions that express a "tone deafness to the black cultural voice" and result in "intellectual racism."[3] Gates tried to articulate what might constitute a black cultural aesthetic in his major scholarly work The Signifying Monkey, a 1989 American Book Award winner; the work extended the application of the concept of "signifyin(g)" to analysis of African-American works and thus rooted African-American literary criticism in the African-American vernacular tradition.

While Gates has stressed the need for greater recognition of black literature and black culture, Gates does not advocate a "separatist" black canon but, rather, a greater recognition of black works that would be integrated into a larger, pluralistic canon. He has affirmed the value of the Western tradition but envisions a loose canon of diverse works integrated by common cultural connections:

"Every black American text must confess to a complex ancestry, one high and low (that is, literary and vernacular) but also one white and black...there can be no doubt that white texts inform and influence black texts (and vice versa), so that a thoroughly integrated canon of American literature is not only politically sound, it is intellectually sound as well."[3]

Moreover, Gates has argued that a separatist, Afrocentric education perpetuates racist stereotypes and maintains that it is "ridiculous" to think that only blacks should be scholars of African and African-American literature. He argues, "It can't be real as a subject if you have to look like the subject to be an expert in the subject,"[1] adding, "It's as ridiculous as if someone said I couldn't appreciate Shakespeare because I'm not Anglo-Saxon. I think it's vulgar and racist whether it comes out of a black mouth or a white mouth."[4]

Mediating a position between radicals advocating separatism and traditionalists guarding a fixed, highly homogeneous Western canon, Gates has faced criticisms from both sides; some criticize that the additional black literature will diminish the value of the Western canon, while separatists feel that Gates is too accommodating to the dominant white culture in advocating integration.

As a literary historian committed to the preservation and study of historical texts, Gates has been integral to the Black Periodical Literature Project, an archive of black newspapers and magazines created with financial assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities.[5] To build Harvard's visual, documentary, and literary archives of African-American texts, Gates arranged for the purchase of "The Image of the Black in Western Art," a collection assembled by Dominique de Ménil in Houston, Texas. Earlier, as a result of his research as a MacArthur Fellow, Gates had discovered Our Nig, the first novel in the United States written by a black person, Harriet E. Wilson, in 1859; he followed this discovery with the acquisition of the manuscript of The Bondwoman's Narrative, another narrative from the same period.

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. Gates' prominence in this field led to him being tapped as a witness on behalf of the controversial Florida rap group 2 Live Crew in their obscenity case. He argued the material the government alleged was profane, actually had important roots in African-American vernacular, games, and literary traditions and should be protected.

Asked by NEH Chairman Bruce Cole about how Gates would describe what he does, Gates responded, "I would say I'm a literary critic. That's the first descriptor that comes to mind. After that I would say I was a teacher. Both would be just as important."[1]

Personal life

Gates has been the host and co-producer of African American Lives (2006) and African American Lives 2 (2008) in which the lineage of notable African Americans is traced using genealogical resources and DNA testing. In the first series, Gates learns of his European ancestry (50%), and in the second installment we learn he is descended from the Irish King, Niall of the Nine Hostages. He also learns that he is descended in part from the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

Gates was married in 1979 to Sharon Lynn Adams. They have two daughters. He has since remarried.

2009 Incident with Cambridge police

Gates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct[6] following an incident on July 16, 2009, when he had trouble opening the door to his house and a passer-by called police, suspecting that the "two black males" (Gates and a driver) were breaking and entering. [7] According to police reports, Gates is said to have demanded the police explain themselves, saying, "Why, because I'm a black man in America?" Gates established his identity, but demanded the name and badge number of the police officer, following him outside. [8] Gates and his attorney, Harvard colleague Charles Ogletree, issued a statement on Gates's website, theroot.com, disputing the police report.[9] The charges were later dropped by the Middlesex County district attorney's office, upon the recommendation of the city of Cambridge and the Cambridge Police Department, calling the incident "regrettable and unfortunate".[10]

Questions about racial profiling have been raised by the community, with other colleagues, such as neuroscience professor Allen Counter coming forward with similar stories of harassment by the Cambridge Police.[11][12]

Honors and awards

Gates has been the recipient of nearly 50 honorary degrees and numerous academic and social action awards. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1981 and was listed in Time among its “25 Most Influential Americans” in 1997. On October 23, 2006, Gates was appointed the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor at Harvard University. In January 2008, he co-founded The Root, a website dedicated to African-American perspectives published by The Washington Post Company. Gates currently chairs the Fletcher Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is on the boards of many notable institutions including the New York Public Library, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, HEAF (the Harlem Educational Activities Fund), and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, located in Stanford, California.[2]

In 2002 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Gates for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities.[13] Gates' lecture was entitled "Mister Jefferson and the Trials of Phillis Wheatley"[14] and was the basis for his book The Trials of Phillis Wheatley.[15]

In 2006, Gates was inducted into the Sons of the American Revolution after he traced his lineage back to John Redman, a Free Negro who fought in the Revolutionary War.[16]

The popular Harvard-area burger restaurant, Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, sells a Professor Skip Gates burger topped with pineapple and teriyaki sauce.



Books (author)
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1987). Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the "Racial" Self (First edition ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019503564X.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1988). The Signifying Monkey (First edition ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195034635. American Book Award
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1992). Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (First edition ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195075196.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1994). Colored People: A Memoir (First edition ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0679421793.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.; Cornel West (1996). The Future of the Race (First edition ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 067944405X.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.; McKay, Nellie Y. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (First edition ed.). W. W. Norton. ISBN 0393040011.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1997). Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man (First edition ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0679457135.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1999). Wonders of the African World (First edition ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0375402357.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2000). The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Century (First edition ed.). New York: Free Press. ISBN 0684864142.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2003). The trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's first Black poet and her encounters with the founding fathers. New York: Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 0465027296.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2007). Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own (First edition ed.). New York: Crown. ISBN 9780307382382.
Books (editor)
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (1999). Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (First edition ed.). New York: Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 0465000711.
  • Crafts, Hannah; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2002). The Bondwoman's Narrative (First edition ed.). New York: Warner Books. ISBN 0446690295.
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. and Hollis Robbins. (2004) Searching for Hannah Crafts: Essays in the Bondwoman's Narrative. New York: Basic/Civitas. ISBN 0465027148
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. (2008) The African American national biography, New York, NY : Oxford Univ. Press, ISBN 9780195160192
  • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.; Yacovone, Donald (2009). Lincoln on Race and Slavery. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691142340.


  • From Great Zimbabwe to Kilimatinde, BBC/PBS, Great Railway Journeys, Narrator and Screenwriter, BBC/PBS, 1996.
  • The Two Nations of Black America, Host and Scriptwriter, Frontline, WGBH-TV, February 11, 1998.
  • Leaving Eldridge Cleaver, WGBH, 1999
  • Wonders of the African World, PBS, October 25-27, 1999 (six-part series) (Shown as Into Africa on BBC-2 in the United Kingdom and South Africa, Summer, 1999)
  • America Beyond the Color Line, Host and Scriptwriter, (four part series) PBS, 2004.
  • African American Lives, Host and Narrator, PBS, February 2006
  • African American Lives 2, Host and Narrator, PBS, February 2008
  • Looking For Lincoln, Host and Narrator, PBS, February 2009


  • Appiah, Anthony; Gates, Henry Louis, Jr (1999). Microsoft Encarta Africana Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Black History and Culture (First edition ed.). Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corp. ISBN 0735600570. [17]


  1. ^ a b c Bruce Cole (2002). "Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Interview". National Endowment for the Humanities. http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/gates/interview.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-04.
  2. ^ a b History of American Civilization Program (2008). "Henry Louis Gates, Jr.". Harvard University. http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~amciv/faculty/gates.shtml. Retrieved on 2008-08-07.
  3. ^ a b "Black History - Biographies - Henry Louis Gates". Thomson Gale. http://www.gale.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/gates_h.htm. Retrieved on 2007-01-04.
  4. ^ Clarke, Breena and Susan Tifft "A 'Race Man' Argues for a Broader Curriculum: Henry Louis Gates Jr. Wants W.E.B. Dubois, Wole Soyinka and Phyllis Wheatley on the Nation's Reading Lists, As Well As Western Classics like Milton and Shakespeare." Time: 137(16). 22 April 1991: 16.
  5. ^ W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (2008). "Black Periodical Literature Project". Harvard University. http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~du_bois/research_projects/black_periodical_literature_project.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-07.
  6. ^ http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/272-53.htm
  7. ^ http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF
  8. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/21/massachusetts.harvard.professor.arrested/index.html
  9. ^ []http://www.theroot.com/views/lawyers-statement-arrest-henry-louis-gates-jr
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Black scholar's arrest raises profiling questions - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090721/ap_on_re_us/us_harvard_scholar_disorderly. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  12. ^ Root, The (2009-07-16). "Henry Louis Gates Jr. Arrested". Theroot.com. http://www.theroot.com/views/lawyers-statement-arrest-henry-louis-gates-jr?auto=true. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  13. ^ Jefferson Lecturers at NEH Website . Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  14. ^ Henry Louis Gates,"Mister Jefferson and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley," text of Jefferson Lecture at NEH website.
  15. ^ Henry Louis Gates, The Trials of Phillis Wheatley: America's First Black Poet and Her Encounters with the Founding Fathers (Basic Civitas Books, 2003), ISBN 0465027296.
  16. ^ Staff writers (14 September 2006). "Sons of American Revolution welcome Gates". The Harvard University Gazette. http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2006/09.14/26-gates.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-07.
  17. ^ Microsoft (8 January 1999). Encarta Africana, the First Comprehensive Encyclopedia Of Black History and Culture, Launches Today. Press release. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/1999/jan99/encaafricpr.mspx. Retrieved on 2008-08-07.

External links

2 comentários:

Inspector Clouseau disse...

We have three observations about the Harvard professor incident:

1. We find it interesting that the fact that this was the professor's home was evidently not established early on way before the dispute escalated;

2. We find it fascinating that the versions of two members of society, who most would ordinarily view as responsible and honest citizens (this obviously does not include politicians), would vary so dramatically from a factual point of view.

3. Finally, considering that the reading and viewing public were not present at the scene (and thus have no first hand knowledge), and that there is no video tape to our knowledge of the sequence of events and what was said, how so many have formed conclusions, and made assumptions, about who did what and who was wrong.

There are some things which Professor Gates might have considered upon the arrival of the police, no matter how incensed he may have been.

Luiz Fernando Martins da Silva disse...

Mr.Inspector Clouseau,

Excuse me, but I do not speak your language. Translate these words for a translator of Internet ...

First, thank you for keeping contact with regard to a story posted on my blog, especially when identifying ...

Respect your opinion on the matter and to agree in part with you about the facts are known, disseminated and interpreted. The "reality" society is built, it is not given a priori

If you give me attention and I NEVER comments or value-judgment on any post that is made in the blog ... Nor arguing or discuss with anyone reading the posts and maintains contact ...

The idea of the blog is to disclose facts relating to fundamental human rights, notably, violations of the same angle under the ethnic-racial and religious and other related subjects.

A message posted by me is very descriptive, and taken from a newspaper considered respectable in my country (WWW.oglobo.com.br), considered by conservative ... And the author of the information, Miriam Leitão, is considered one of the most respected journalists in Brazil.

The main reason why the post was in the blog space is that Mr. Gates is very respected among Brazilian intellectuals who work with the theme race relations, and, suddenly, he is handcuffed in a picture in a message from a journalist of a considered respectable newspaper in my country ..

This in the same week that the U.S. President, Mr Obama, says there is racial prejudice against afroamericabs in your country ... (incidentally, I just see on TV Globo - television channel connected to the newspaper Oglobo above - that President Obama invited the police to Gates and White House drinking a beer ...)

Other relevant, both in the U.S. and in Brazil, the scholars suggest, is very common so-called Racial Profiling ...

Finally, it is a pity that I never had the financial resources to travel the U.S. to see up close how to make relations between people of different ethnicities s-breeds, but I think that, like any other society, not the U.S. is beyond good and evil ...

Luiz Fernando N. DA siLVA, bLOGGER