Look for these two features after the residency:

About Gates
Links to outside sources


In The Words of Others

In His Own Words
  • "I mean, she wanted us to be as successful as it was humanly possible to be in American society. But she always wanted us to remember, first and last, that we were black and that you could never trust white people. And so when I brought my fiancee home, who happened to be a white American, I thought World War III was about to break out between me and my mother, not to mention between my mother and my fiancee."
    "The tradition of literature in the English language is sublime. There's no question about that. I would never want to get rid of Shakespeare or Milton or Virginia Woolf or any of these people, but I want to make room for other great writers -- writers like Wole Soyinka or Derek Walcott or Toni Morrison or Marquez...."

    An interview in which Gates recollects various stories from his life while discussing Colored People, featured on Booknotes.

  • "Have you ever gone to a movie with black people? They talk to the screen. That's what we tried to do, set up a call and response between the annotations and the text that's like the way black people go to the movies. Look, from Frederick Douglass, who reviewed and praised it, to James Baldwin in 1949, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" has had more impact than any other single book on the shaping of African-American literature. Now it's unread by black people. I'm trying to get a new generation of black people to read it, and it's an uphill battle."

    Gates talks about The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin with The Boston Globe (two pages).

  • "Look at these black college students today. They're worried about somebody black jumping in their face and saying, 'You're not black enough. You're a Harvard kid, a turncoat, a traitor, you speak standard English, you get straight A's--those are all white things.' And they had to put up with that all their lives, probably. I give a speech to the black freshmen at Harvard each year, and I say, 'You can like Mozart and ice hockey . . .'--and then I used to say 'golf,' but Tiger took over golf!--'and Picasso and still be as black as the ace of spades. You know, there are 35 million black people in this country and there are 35 million ways to be black.' When I say that, I get a standing ovation."

    A discussion about the current state of the black community and what needs to change from MotherJones.

The 2007 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Program is made possible with financial support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, the West Virginia Center for the Book, and the Shepherd University Foundation.

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