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Arts and Entertainment

Gates to speak at Gantt Symposium
Harvard professor kicks off summer exhibits
 
Published Friday, May 3, 2013 2:37 pm
by Staff Reports

Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates will speak at the Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture’s inaugural Gantt Symposium on June 27.


The symposium will also serve as the kick-off for the center’s summer exhibitions, which will include "The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect."


The collection includes authentic and rare artifacts, books, art, documents and manuscripts that tell the story of African-American achievement and contributions in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.


“Our objective with the annual symposium is to engage Charlotte residents in conversation about important topics that we believe are relevant, not only to African-Americans, but to the community at-large,” said Gantt Center President and CEO David Taylor.


Gates’ lecture, “Finding Your Roots,” will address research and DNA analysis while sharing poignant family stories. A Q&A session, facilitated by the center’s namesake, Harvey Gantt, will follow.


The Gantt Center will host a post-event reception and guided preview of the Kinsey exhibit with collectors Bernard, Shirley and Khalil Kinsey.


Gates, a literary critic, educator, scholar, writer and editor, was named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential Americans. The Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director for the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard has been credited with transforming the university’s African-American studies program.


In 2006, he wrote and produced “African-American Lives,” a documentary series on PBS and was the first to utilize genealogy and science to provide an understanding of African-American history. His latest PBS special, “Finding your Roots,” examines the nation’s shared history as Gates peers into the family genealogies of a number of well-known personalities.


The Kinsey Collection exhibition has been on display in eight museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The collection has also been citied in three national awards including the nation’s highest honor, the President’s Medal for Museum and Library Services. It was also selected as one of the “Top Ten Exhibits to see in the World.”


Tickets to the symposium are available at www.GanttCenter.org. There is an additional cost for admission to the post-event reception.

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