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Henry Louis Gates Jr. on what really happened at Obama’s ‘beer summit.’ | The New York Times Magazine

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of a handful of academics who have crossed over into something approaching true celebrity. Which is apparently what happens when you’ve written and edited dozens of books of popular history; had a guiding hand in 18 major documentaries on black history, the most recent of which was “Who Killed Malcom X?”; and spent six seasons uncovering the genealogical mysteries of famous people as host of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots.” Gates’s desire to reach beyond the ivory tower — in addition to writing landmark works of literary criticism like “The Signifying Monkey,” he’s the director […]

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