Henry Louis Gates Jr., perhaps the most famous African-American scholar in the country, was arrested while trying to get into his locked home near Harvard, where he works. “Police say they were called to the home Thursday afternoon after a woman reported seeing a man try to pry open the front door,” according to the Associated Press. Gates reportedly refused to identify himself when a policeman asked him to, called the officer a racist, and said “this is what happens to black men in America.” Though he showed his driver’s license and Harvard identification card, police booked him for disorderly conduct. Friends say that Gates was in his home already by the time police arrived. Gates directs the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, has authored 11 books, and edits The Root.
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