The Holmes-Hunter Lecture Series was established in 1985 in conjunction with the University of Georgia’s Bicentennial to honor Dr. Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first black students to enroll at UGA. The lecture is given by a distinguished scholar or public figure and focuses on race relations, aspects of higher education with implications for race relations or black history.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a Peabody Award-winning historian and Harvard University professor.
Gates has authored or co-authored 25 books and created 23 documentary films, including Wonders of the African World, Black in Latin America and Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise. His 2013 TV documentaries The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, and his genealogy series Finding Your Roots is now in its seventh season on PBS. His newest project, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, comprises a film series and a companion book that features our very own Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Dr. Gates and Charlayne collaborate each summer on the Hutchins Forum on Martha’s Vineyard, examining contemporary issues on race and social justice from a variety of viewpoints.
Gates earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1973 and his master’s and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Cambridge in 1979. He has been named one of Time’s Most Influential Americans and became the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal. Gates directs the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University and serves on a number of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Aspen Institute, among others.