This event is cosponsored by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.
From 1994 to 2003, Hugh Price served as president and CEO of the National Urban League. During his tenure, he conceived and launched the League’s Campaign for African-American Achievement; spearheaded pressure on the federal government to combat police brutality and racial profiling; vigorously defended affirmative action, and helped repair frayed relations bewteen the black and Jewish comunities.
In his memoir, This African-American Life, Price traces his historical lineage—ancestors such as Nero Hawley, who fought in the American Revolution and served at Valley Forge under General George Washington; George and Rebecca Latimer, who escaped slavery in Virginia by stowing away on a boat and traveling to the North as master and slave; and Lewis Latimer, a famous inventor who worked with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison and played a pivotal role in perfecting the light bulb.
Price discusses his varied and successful careers such as editorial writer for The New York Times; head of the production division at the nation’s largest public television station, which produced such acclaimed PBS series as Great Performances, Nature, and American Masters, and vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he was instrumental in launching innovative youth initiatives. Most recently, Price was the John L. Weinberg/ Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Along with discussions about his varied careers and inspiring ancestors, Price shares stories about his childhood and growing up in the segregated neighborhood near Howard University in Washington D.C.; his passion for baseball and his dream of becoming a major leaguer; his experience as one of the first students to integrate the previously segregated Washington, DC, schools in 1954; and his stirring memories of witnessing the birth of the new South Africa at a thrilling rally in Cape Town on February 2, 1990, the same day President F. W. deKlerk proclaimed the end of apartheid and announced the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.