Henry Louis Gates, Jr. + Cornel West

Drs. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West

LMU's Global Conversation series presents
The Culture Wars: Black and White
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. + Cornel West

Friday, Oct. 7 | 4 p.m.
Drollinger Family Stage
Loyola Marymount University

  • LMU's Global Conversation series presents
    The Culture Wars: Black and White
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. + Cornel West

    Professors Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West will come together at Loyola Marymount University as part of the “Global Conversation” series to discuss the prevalence of culture wars in the U.S. and worldwide. Gates, Jr. and West are two of the most renowned scholars and public intellectuals in the country; embodying the intellectual response to who we are as a nation defined and often divided by our religious, economic, and racial diversity. Drawing on African American history and personal experiences, their talk will encapsulate the way we have lived in the past in terms of race and color, the way we live now, and the ways we can engage and celebrate our commonalities and differences for a better future.

    Organized by:
    Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture, and the Arts 

    Produced by:
    John Flaherty and Theresia de Vroom

    Sponsored by:
    Academy for Catholic Thought and Imagination; LMU Academic Affairs; LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts; Campus Ministry; LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts; Dept. of African American Studies; Dept. of English; Los Angeles Catholic Worker; LMU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Office of the Provost; The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary; LMU School of Film and Television; Student Affairs

    About the Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture, and the Arts
    The Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture, and the Arts preserves the transformative educational tradition of the RSHM and promotes dialogue between faith and culture as expressed in the fine, performing, literary, and communication arts

    About Loyola Marymount University
    LMU is a private Catholic university with 6,000 undergraduates, 2,200 graduate students and 1,100 law students from diverse backgrounds and many perspectives. Our seven colleges and schools boast best-in-the-nation programs in film and television, business, education and more. Our stunning campus in West Los Angeles is a sun-soaked oasis overlooking the Pacific coast and a model of sustainability. We're rooted in the heart of Los Angeles, a global capital for arts and entertainment, innovation and technology, business and entrepreneurship. Our mission is grounded in a centuries-old Jesuit educational tradition that produces extraordinary men and women dedicated to service and social justice. We're proud of more than 85,000 LMU alumni whose professional achievements are matched by a deep commitment to improving the lives of others.

  • Henry Louis Gates Jr Black and White Portrait
    Photo of Henry Louis Gates Jr. @Judy Dater

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Professor Gates has published numerous books and produced and hosted an array of documentary films. The Black Church (PBS) and Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches (HBO), which he executive produced, have each received Emmy nominations. His latest history series for PBS is Making Black America: Through the Grapevine. Finding Your Roots, Gates’s groundbreaking genealogy and genetics series, is now in its ninth season on PBS.

    Gates is a recipient of a number of honorary degrees, including his alma mater, the University of Cambridge. Gates was a member of the first class awarded “genius grants” by the MacArthur Foundation in 1981, and in 1998 he became the first African American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal.

    A native of Piedmont, West Virginia, Gates earned his B.A. in History, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1973, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Clare College at Cambridge in 1979, where he is also an Honorary Fellow. A former chair of the Pulitzer Prize board, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves on a wide array of boards, including the New York Public Library, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Aspen Institute, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Library of America, and The Studio Museum of Harlem. In 2011, his portrait, by Yuqi Wang, was hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

  • Cornel West portrait black and white

    Photo of Cornel West @cornelwest.com

    Cornel West, affectionately known to many as Brother West, is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. He has a passion for honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice, through his work as a philosopher, author, activist, actor, recording artist, and public intellectual.

    West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books and has edited 13.  He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.

  • RSVP

    Registration for this event is now closed. Please note that this event is free and open to the public, as well as LMU students, faculty, and staff. Seating will be on a first come first served basis. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m., please arrive early to secure a seat. Thank you for your understanding.


    LMU is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our students, faculty, staff, and guests.
    • Click here for a list of items that will not be permitted to bring into the event. Attendees who attempt to bring such items will be asked to return them to their vehicle. LMU will not hold or be responsible for any of these items. 
    • Prior to entering the venue, guests will be screened (wand and bag checks) to ensure that none of the restricted items enter the venue. If guests need to exit the venue, they will be rescreened before reentering the venue.
    • Please arrive early to allow enough time to move through security and enter the venue. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m.
    • LMU Campus Safety is available 24/7 for safety and security concerns and can be reached at 310.338.2893. 


    Driving directions to LMU are available here. Please use the main LMU entrance at Lincoln and LMU Drive. PDF Campus Map | Interactive Campus Map 


    Please enter campus via Lincoln Boulevard. Parking will be available on levels P2 and P3 of University Hall parking garage, near the entrance of campus from Lincoln Boulevard. We recommend arriving 30 minutes before the start of the presentation to allow time for parking and locating the event. 

    Please note that LMU charges visitors to park. Pay kiosks are located in each lot. You will need your license plate number to register your vehicle at the kiosk. Parking and rate information is available here