Henry Louis Gates Jr. to give Holmes-Hunter Lecture, with Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Feb 23, 2021

Credit Peter Frey via UGA Today

Harvard Professor and Peabody Award-winning historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. presented the University of Georgia’s 2021 Holmes-Hunter Lecture this afternoon.

"Charlayne Hunter was not only representing an individual, not representing her mother and father, or her grandmother, she was representing the race."

Instead of a typical speech, Gates held a question-and-answer session with lecture namesake, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. They discussed her challenges while integrating UGA.

"Did you ever say "This is too much- I'm out of here! My God, my God why has thou forsaken me?"

Gault: "Throughout the time that I was there, there were teachers who befriended me. Although it was an unusual situation, there were people who wrapped their arms around me. There were often times when I had friends who surrounded me."

Hunter-Gault also addressed her wish to see continued interaction of people of all ages. "Remember when you [Gates] said you watched me when you were 9 or 10 years old, and here we are working together on so many things. I really do think that one of our big jobs to do is to keep this coalition of generations going."

Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes were the first two Black students to attend UGA some 60 years ago.

To learn more, visit: https://president.uga.edu/holmes-hunter/