Gates during a book signing just moments before the screening of a segment of the Spike Lee documentary called "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," in 2006.
In 2000, Gates helped create the Martin Luther King After-School program at River's Ella J. Baker House in Dorchester. The project uses Gates and Appiah's Encarta Africana encyclopedia to teach urban children African and African-American history.
He is currently director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard.