Henry Louis Gates – You can say I had…

You can say I had a severe case of ‘Roots’ envy. I wanted to be…


“You can say I had a severe case of ‘Roots’ envy. I wanted to be like Alex Haley, and I wanted to be able to… do my family tree back to the slave ship and then reverse the Middle Passage, as I like to put it, and find the tribe or ethnic group that I was from in Africa.”
-Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates – I first learned that there…

I first learned that there were black people living in some place called other than…


“I first learned that there were black people living in some place called other than the United States in the western hemisphere when I was a very little boy, and my father told me that when he was a boy about my age, he wanted to be an Episcopal priest, because he so admired his priest, a black man from someplace called Haiti.”
-Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates – My family and our neighbors…

My family and our neighbors and friends thought of Africa and its Africans as extensions…


“My family and our neighbors and friends thought of Africa and its Africans as extensions of the stereotyped characters that we saw in movies and on television in films such as ‘Tarzan’ and in programs such as ‘Ramar of the Jungle’ and ‘Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.'”
-Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates – But you see, our society…

But you see, our society is still trapped in this binary, black/white logic and…


“But you see, our society is still trapped in this binary, black/white logic and that has had some very positive implications for our generation. It’s had some very negative ones as well and one of the negative ones is that it creates enormous identity problems for people who have one black ancestor and all white ancestors for example.”
-Henry Louis Gates

Henry Louis Gates – The only people who live…

The only people who live in a post-black world are four people who live…


“The only people who live in a post-black world are four people who live in a little white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. The idea that America is post-racial or post-black because a man I admire, Barack Obama, is president of the United States, is a joke. And I hope no one will even wonder about this crazy fiction again.”
-Henry Louis Gates