Harvard College has sent admission notifications to 2,023 students, 5.9 percent of the applicant pool of 34,295. Included are record numbers of African-American and Latino students, who constitute 11.9 and 13 percent of the admitted class, respectively.
Sophomores Alexander Moore and Joshua Scott have been selected as the 2013 Hill-Stephens Scholars, an honor awarded annually to two African-American sophomores or juniors at Harvard College who display exceptional commitment to academic achievement and community involvement.
Artist Kerry James Marshall’s massive woodcut print, on view at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, challenges the artistic status quo.
Letters and email notifications of admission to Harvard College have been sent to 2,032 students. More than 60 percent of families of students admitted to the Class of 2016 will benefit from an unprecedented $172 million in undergraduate financial aid.
Michael Fosberg learned of his African-American roots as an adult, and will tell his story at Harvard on April 6 in his one-man play “Incognito.”
In what many participants called a “historic moment,” scholars from around the world gathered for three days at Harvard to explore issues of race, racial identity, and racism in Latin America.
Du Bois Institute's exhibit and mammoth publishing effort
Archaeologists examining the African-American past are broadening their focus to include a greater understanding of Africa, according to Christopher Fennell, who spoke at the Harvard African Seminar.
Du Bois Institute hosts a book party celebrating former and current fellows’ recent publications, including a title that examines little-known slavery in the North.
The Harvard Black Men's Forum (BMF), which pays tribute to the contributions that black women have made to Harvard and to society at large, recognized former Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons, among others, at its Celebration of Black Women event on April 29.
Social ethicist and African American religious studies scholar Jonathan Walton has been named assistant professor of African American religions at Harvard Divinity School, effective July 1.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. received the 41st NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work (nonfiction) for his book “In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past.”
Risk factors for childhood obesity may be evident before birth and are more likely to occur in African-American and Hispanic children than in Caucasian children. Researchers studied 1,826 mother-child pairs from pregnancy through the child’s first five years of life.
PBS will air “Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness,” a documentary that examines the towering influence of controversial anthropologist Melville Herskovits, on Feb. 2 at 10:30 p.m. as part of the series “Independent Lens.” Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal will host the program.
The 100th anniversary of the discovery of the North Pole was marked this year on April 6. For more than 20 years, Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter has made it a mission to bring to light the work of Matthew Henson, the African-American Arctic aide of Robert Peary, the sole explorer credited for reaching the North Pole in 1909.
In 1991 the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., paid homage to players from the Negro Leagues, an artifact of segregated America that had faded away three decades earlier.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s PBS documentary “African American Lives 2” has won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Television, awarded last month by the Parents’ Choice Foundation.
The Harvard Black Law Students Association’s (HBLSA) Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial team won first-place honors at the Black Law Students Association’s Northeast Regional Conference this February. The team will move on to the National Conference in Irvine, Calif., on March 18.
On Monday (Feb. 9), a team of experts assembled at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS) to examine the history and profound impact of the tall, awkward, self-taught man from rural Kentucky who is credited with bringing about an end to slavery and saving the nation’s cherished founding principle of democratic rule.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University recently gave a Masonic membership certificate signed by Prince Hall, a minister, abolitionist, and civil rights activist known as the father of Black Freemasonry in the United States, to Houghton Library.
For the first time in a generation, urban policy is back on the national agenda. Advocates for the nation’s cities have been thrilled by the announcement that the Obama administration will include a White House Office of Urban Policy.
Chinua Achebe, the esteemed Nigerian novelist and poet, delivered this year’s Distinguished African Studies Lecture at the Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS). Greeting the standing-room-only crowd in Tsai Auditorium earlier this week (Nov. 17), Achebe surprised the group by announcing that he had an unusual program in mind.
Not long ago, Harvard cultural anthropologist Marla Frederick sat on a wooden bench in a slum of Kingston, Jamaica. She was interviewing local churchgoers about the Christian “prosperity gospel” often promoted by American televangelists. It offers up a simple (and controversial) idea: The more you give, the more you receive.
Tommie Shelby’s airy office in the Barker Center is piled with papers. His desk is a blanket of white. Books and academic journals litter the floor. The look is, in a word, chaotic. The scholar is anything but.
In the United States, a black man can expect to die, on average, 10 years earlier than his white counterpart. For black women, that racial gap in life expectancy is five years.
A former Harvard professor returned to campus last week to explain how he makes opera swing. Anthony Davis, a composer known for his diverse approach to music, incorporating diverse elements like jazz, improvisation, minimalism, and the Javanese gamelan (an Indonesian musical ensemble that includes gongs, xylophones, and bamboo flutes) into his work, recently discussed his unique spin on the art form in a series of talks sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.
It was show and tell for poet Elizabeth Alexander this week. The Yale University professor of African American studies, a Radcliffe Fellow this year, used a May 5 reading to show the depth and musicality of her poems, short stories, and penetrating essays — and to tell the story of inspiration’s multiple avenues.
Geoffrey Canada — author, educator, psychologist, motivator, poet, black belt, sometime comedian, and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone — spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 300 in the packed Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall last week (March 12).
From Aaron, a former slave without a last name, through Paul Burgess Zuber, a 20th century lawyer and professor, the recently published African American National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008) is the most extensive and inclusive collection of biographical information about African American lives ever published. The African American National Biography (AANB), co-edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Higginbotham, is an eight-volume series that includes biographies of more than 4,000 African Americans throughout 500 years, dating back to the arrival of Esteban, the first recorded African explorer to set foot in North America.
The Harvard Black Students Association honored Robert Lewis Jr., vice president for program at the Boston Foundation, and critically acclaimed actress Gabrielle Union with its Crimson and Black Leadership awards on Feb. 29. Crimson and Black is an annual event at the University designed to showcase the achievements of Harvard’s past black students while addressing the current black community on opportunities for improvement.
Most of us think of the Civil Rights movement as something that took place in the transitional 1950s and the tumultuous 1960s. It’s seen as a cultural artifact squeezed between the defiance of Rosa Parks (1955) and the demise of Martin Luther King Jr. (1968).
Certain adages exist about historical repetition: those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it, for example, or history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme. Walter Johnson doesn’t necessary believe in these old chestnuts, but he does see how the past and the present can illuminate one another in order to provide each greater context, urgency, and understanding.
The title of Hillary Chute’s Nov. 29 lecture, “Out of the Gutter: Contemporary Graphic Novels by Women,” has a double meaning. It refers to the elevation of graphic narratives — comics — from the lowest, most disreputable level of artistic expression to a form worthy of New York Times best-sellerdom, literary prizes, and academic attention.
This past September, the Romare Bearden Foundation honored Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. along with Nobel laureate Derek Walcott for their contributions and commitment to the literary and artistic canon.
Renowned Egyptian activist Nawal El Saadawi has been selected by the Harvard Committee on African Studies to deliver its annual Distinguished Harvard African Studies Lecture. Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics Eric Mazur and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor, were recently named Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) Visiting Scholars for the 2007-08 academic year.
By all accounts, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a funny man with a wide-ranging, brilliant, synthesizing mind. At the same time, many of his friends say, he had a gift for dramatic language that sometimes overshadowed his true intentions.
Before he was a United States senator from New York, before he was ambassador to India, before he taught government at Harvard, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) served as assistant secretary of labor under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and it was in that capacity that he issued a report in March 1965 titled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.”
Allan Rohan Crite, a renowned painter and Harvard Extension School alumnus, passed away on Sept. 6. He was 97.
Sacvan Bercovitch, the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature Emeritus, has won the Bode-Pearson Prize for outstanding contributions to American studies.
Marcyliena Morgan, a noted linguistic anthropologist, and Lawrence D. Bobo, a renowned sociologist, have been appointed professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Both will join the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS); Bobo will have a joint appointment in sociology. Morgan and Bobo, who are husband and wife, were members of the Harvard faculty until 2005. They will return in January 2008.
Under a big tent set for lunch in breezy Radcliffe Yard on Friday (June 8), Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison offered a gathering of 950 graduates, fellows, and friends a brief meditation on the oblique efficacy of the humanities. She said these “creative, imaginative arts” counsel, goad, and interrogate American culture from its own borders.
Ruby Dee — civil rights activist, star of stage and screen, and the surviving half of a pair who, for much of the 20th century, reigned as the first couple of African-American theater — made it to Harvard this week.
Einstein’s response to the racism and segregation he found in Princeton was to cultivate relationships in the town’s African-American community. Jerome and Taylor interviewed members of that community who still remember the white-haired, disheveled figure of Einstein strolling through their streets, stopping to chat with the inhabitants, and handing out candy to local children.
Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts (CBMM) will recognize Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Harvard University’s S. Allen Counter with the Paul Robeson Leadership Award for their “leadership and community service” at CBMM’s 2007 Andrew J. Davis Jr. Unity Breakfast.
Dred Scott. You don’t have to be a lawyer or historian to have that name conjure up feelings of horror and injustice.
The Harvard Black Men’s Forum (BMF) will present the 2007 Woman of the Year award to acclaimed actress, producer, director, and choreographer Debbie Allen. The presentation of the 2007 award — scheduled for March 10 at the Boston Fairmount Copley Hotel — will be the highlight of the 13th annual “Celebration of Black Women: Honoring Everyday Heroes.”
In 1973, Shirley Ann Jackson became the first black woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Decades - and 38 honorary degrees - later, Jackson is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. Her resume includes time as a university researcher (in theoretical elementary particle physics); a corporate scientist (at AT&T Bell Laboratories); and a government regulator (as chairwoman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1995 to 1999).
The phrase "rich ethnic and cultural diversity" seemed like an understatement at last Saturday's (Feb. 24) Cultural Rhythms extravaganza. This year's event was energized by the appearance of the Artist of the Year Laurence Fishburne, the mightily accomplished actor, director, producer, and humanitarian.
Actor, producer, and director Laurence Fishburne has been named the 2007 Artist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation. Fishburne, the unanimous choice of the selection committee, will be awarded the foundation's most prestigious medal at Harvard's annual Cultural Rhythms ceremony on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) at Sanders Theatre.
Paul Oliver, probably the world's foremost scholar of the blues, first heard African-American vernacular music during World War II when a friend brought him to listen to black servicemen stationed in England singing work songs they had brought with them from the fields and lumber camps of the Deep South. Oliver was enthralled by the rhythm and drive of the music and the spontaneous interweaving of harmonies, and wanted to hear more. His fascination led him on a 60-year quest that has included numerous field trips through the American South interviewing, recording, and photographing blues musicians.