Three Black Scholars Among This Year’s Class of Fletcher Fellows

In 2004 Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher Jr., a Wall Street money manager, announced a $50 million endowment to fund institutions and individuals who are working to further racial equality. The Fletcher Fellowships offer $50,000 grants to people of any race whose work seeks to improve race relations in this country. The Fletcher Scholarship program is administered by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the institute, is the chair of the Fletcher Fellows selection committee.

In the first three years of the program, 28 Fletcher Fellows were named. This year there are four new Fletcher Fellows. Three of the four are African-American scholars:

• Clayborne Carson is professor of history and founding director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. In 1985 he began a major project to edit and publish the papers of Martin Luther King Jr.

Professor Carson will use his Fletcher Fellowship to produce online educational content for the study of the humanities.

• Kellie Jones, an associate professor of art history and archaeology at Columbia University, will produce an oral history project on modern literary and visual culture of the African-American community.

• Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, will conduct work on a project entitled, “Shattering the Colorblind Ruse: Recapturing the Legacy of Brown.” Her thesis is that today’s notion of colorblindness undermines the nation’s ability to address ongoing patterns of racial inequality.