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Gerald Early to get St. Louis Walk of Fame star

22 Apr

Gerald Early

Gerald Early, the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters at Washington University in St. Louis has received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The St. Louis Walk of Fame is a collection of more than 130 brass stars which honor individuals from the St. Louis area who have made a cultural contribution through the arts, writing, music, or sports.

Professor Early came to Washington University in 1982 and since that time has been a prolific author and cultural critic in addition to teaching courses in English, African and African-American studies, and, American culture studies. He was also the director of Arts & Sciences’ Center for the Humanities for over eleven years.

Professor Early’s books include, This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s, One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American CultureDaughters: On Family and Fatherhood, The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature and Modern American Culture, and A Level Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports, to name just a few.

In addition to being an author and a professor, Early is a noted cultural critic who has been a consultant and appeared in numerous documentaries. Gerald Early appeared in Henry Hampton’s I’ll Make Me a World, and the entire interview is available to view at the Film & Media Archive. Professor Early was also part of a group of librarians, archivists, and professors who were responsible for the Henry Hampton Collection finding a home at Washington University. The group’s successful proposal made the case that the Hampton Collection should be at a university where it would be open and accessible to students, faculty, and researchers.

Professor Early has appeared in other documentaries as well, including Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack JohnsonBaseball, the Ken Burns documentary series, Joe Louis: America’s Hero… BetrayedSay It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America, and many others

The full text of his speech on receiving the star can be read here.