Beginning September 1, 2010, PBS Television will air A Conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation's largest African American video oral history archive. This hour-long, live-to-tape interview program provides an inside look into the life and career of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
A native of West Virginia, Gates returns to his birth state to share his story with CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Taped on February 18, 2010 in front of a live PBS-TV audience at The Culture Center in the State Capital of Charleston, this program provides a candid look into the life of this history "change agent."
"We want to thank Verizon," said Julieanna Richardson, Founder and Executive Director of The HistoryMakers, "for making this program possible. Everyone sat on the edge of their seats to hear the renowned scholar give a first-hand account of his life, his influences and his career."
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Dr. Gates is Editor-In-Chief of TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine focusing on issues of interest to the African American community, and the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American and African studies. He is the author of twelve books and has written for Time Magazine, The New Yorker and The New York Times. Dr. Gates earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. He received a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1973.
As producer and host of African American Lives, African American Lives 2 and Faces of America, Dr. Gates uses his skills in African and African American research and genealogy to trace the family history of well know celebrities back to their earliest ancestor.
Suzanne Malveaux is a White House correspondent for CNN and the primary substitute anchor for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Based in the Washington, D.C. bureau, Malveaux joined the network in May 2002. As a member of the network's Best Political Team on Television, Malveaux covered the 2008 presidential election cycle from the campaign trail, which contributed to CNN winning a Peabody Award for coverage of the presidential primary debates and campaigns. Malveaux has broken numerous stories for CNN, including the plea deal of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, White House personnel changes and the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Malveaux earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.
The HistoryMakers is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational institution dedicated to recording and preserving the personal histories of well-known and unsung African Americans. Not since the recording of former slaves during the WPA Movement of the 1930s has there been a methodic and wide-scale attempt to capture the testimonies of African Americans.
By traveling throughout the United States and abroad, The HistoryMakers has assembled diverse accounts of African Americans from a broad spectrum of backgrounds. To date, almost 2,000 interviews have been added to the archives. The goal is to create an archive of 5,000 interviews (30,000 hours) of professionally recorded video — creating a one-of-a-kind digital archive and a priceless educational resource.