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Queen Latifah, Rita Dove and Shelia Johnson to receive the Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal


ABC/Rick RowellQueen Latifah, BET co-founder Shelia Johnson and Pulitzer Prize winning-poet Rita Dove are among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to black history and culture.

Harvard has announced that the three women and four others will receive the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal on October 22 at Sanders Theatre on Harvard’s campus. The medal, named after the late African-American scholar and writer and which was first presented in 2000, honors those who have made “significant contributions” to African and African-American history and culture and is “Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies,” according to the university.

Other honorees include poet and educator Elizabeth Alexander; secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III; artist Kerry James Marshall; and Robert F. Smith founder, chairman and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners, who recently made headlines when he announced he’d pay off the college loans of Morehouse College students graduating in 2019.

Past winners of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal include Oprah WinfreyMaya AngelouMuhammad Ali and Steven Spielberg.

Just last year, Harvard honored athlete-activist Colin Kaepernick and comedian Dave Chappelle.

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