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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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Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

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Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

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Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

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Our Week In The Web: February
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