"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."
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."Henry Louis Gates on Mahatma Gandhi
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."Henry Louis Gates on Robert A. Heinlein
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."Henry Louis Gates on Jiddu Krishnamurti
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."Henry Louis Gates on Dwight D. Eisenhower
"There is more to life than increasing its speed."Henry Louis Gates on Mahatma Gandhi
"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."
"Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice."
"It's important to debunk the myths of Africa being this benighted continent civilized only when white people arrived. In fact, Africans had been creators of culture for thousands of years before. These were very intelligent, subtle and sophisticated people, with organized societies and great art."
"We can revolutionize the attitude of inner city brown and black kids to learning. We need a civil rights movement within the African-American community."
"Patriotism is best exemplified through auto-critique. When you're willing to stand up within the group and say, 'It is wrong for Black people to be anti-Semitic,' or 'It is wrong for America to discriminate against persons of African descent and made them slaves and based its wealth upon free labor,' it's crucial to say that."