Dave Chappelle and Colin Kaepernick will reportedly be honored for their contributions to black history. The two are among eight recipients to receive Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, the Ivy League announced on Thursday (Sept. 20).
“The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly, individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world,” Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African American Research said in a statement.
The other honorees include: Kenneth Chenault, chairman and a managing director of General Catalyst; Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Pamela Joyner, founder of Avid Partners, LLC; psychologist and author Florence Ladd; Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; and artist Kehinde Wiley.
“Emerging from a variety of backgrounds and professions, each represents the quest for knowledge, freedom of expression, and pursuit of truth that are foundational to black history and culture, and that were foundational to Du Bois as a thinker and activist,” Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the Hutchins Center, stated.
Both Kaepernick and Chappelle had have quite the journey in their professional lives. Kaepernick, in particular, created a massive buzz after he opted to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice. His recent ad campaign with Nike further stirred the pot, prompting nationwide protests and boycotts. Despite the backlash, Kaepernick maintained a level head and passion for social justice, donating millions to organizations specializing in specific social issues.
Chappelle, has also contributed a lot to the world of TV and film. The comedian has starred in, written, and produced several productions and hosted his own show on Comedy Central. He’s earned not only two Emmy’s, but a Grammy as well.