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Queen Latifah and six others to be awarded Harvard’s W.E.B Du Bois Medal

Queen Latifah
Queen LatifahGregg DeGuire/Getty Images/Getty Images

Queen Latifah is coming to Harvard University, and this is not a drill.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Latifah and six other influential figures will be awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal by Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.

The medal is Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African-American studies, according to the Hutchins Center’s website. Winners are recognized for their contributions to African and African-American culture and the life of the mind. The award takes its name from Massachusetts-born American civil rights activist, writer, and historian W.E.B. Du Bois.

Closing remarks for the ceremony will be made by Cornel West, philosopher, author, activist, and professor of the practice of public philosophy at Harvard. He has written 20 books and edited 13, as well as taught at Yale University, Princeton University, the University of Paris, and Union Theological Seminary.


Other Du Bois honorees include writer and educator Elizabeth Alexander , Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III , poet Rita Dove , philanthropist and cofounder of Black Entertainment Television Sheila C. Johnson , artist Kerry James Marshall , and businessman and philanthropist Robert F. Smith .

The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. in Sanders Theatre Memorial Hall at 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. Free tickets will be available beginning Oct. 15 at noon via the Harvard Box Office and at boxoffice.harvard.edu.

Ysabelle Kempe can be reached at ysabelle.kempe@globe.com.