The untold story of the Harvard class of ’63, whose Black students fought to create their own identities on the cusp between integration and affirmative action. In the fall of 1959, Harvard recruited an unprecedented eighteen “Negro” boys as an early form of affirmative action. Four years later they would graduate as African Americans. Some fifty years later, one of these trailblazing Harvard grads, Kent Garrett, would begin to reconnect with his classmates and explore their vastly different backgrounds, lives, and what their time at Harvard meant.
Part memoir, part group portrait, and part narrative history of the intersection between the civil rights movement and higher education, this is the remarkable story of brilliant, singular boys whose identities were changed at and by Harvard, and who, in turn, changed Harvard.
About the Author:
KENT GARRETT was born in the Fort Greene Projects in Brooklyn, New York. He excelled in the New York City Public Schools and went on to Harvard College in 1959. He was one of the producers of the ground-breaking public TV program Black Journal and went on to a long career with CBS and NBC News. In 1997, he left the rat race and became an organic dairy farmer in upstate New York.
JEANNE ELLSWORTH grew up in northwest New Jersey and taught elementary school there for ten years. After returning to school to get a doctorate, she was a teacher educator in the State University of New York system for over twenty years. Since 2007, she has lived in the Catskill Mountains with her partner, Kent Garrett.