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Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates on blackness, whiteness, and the first African-American president in the White House.

Black scholar Henry Louis Gates made headlines last summer with a local white police officer, an angry standoff, and a “beer summit” on the White House lawn. 

But Gates has made headlines all his professional life, for deep scholarship and sharp cultural interpretation. Lately, he’s been writing about roots – black roots, white roots, all kinds – as America has been engaging its first African-American president, and some criticism has become racially ugly. 

We wondered what Gates was thinking. We ask about race, roots, hard politics, and President Barack Obama.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Henry Louis Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. His new book is “Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora.” His latest television program for PBS is “Faces of America.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

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A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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