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FHS Student Meets Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Farmingdale High School student Elise Atkins, along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joan Ripley and teacher Esther Kramer, were thrilled to receive an invite to attend a recent book talk with teacher and historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. He discussed his new book, Stony the Road, about Reconstruction after the Civil War. “Meeting Henry Louis Gates was so surreal!” said Elise. “He not only connected the patterns of African American rights in the 1860s and 70’s to the rights they had previously, but linked Reconstruction to modern day politics and issues. His message is something I will carry with me for life—the key to solving today’s problems is to learn from the past.” Elise was able to grab a private moment to tell Dr. Gates that her great-grandfather had been a colleague of his at Harvard. “I got a high-five, which was an added bonus!”