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GATES, HENRY LOUIS, JR (1950-) In uential African-American critic, editor and essayist. An early achievement in his project of canon

formation was to establish that the novel Our Nig; Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859) was written by an AfricanAmerican, Harriet Wilson. He has also edited several groundbreaking compendia of essays, including Black Literature and Literary Theory (1984) and ‘Race’, Writing, and Difference (1986), which analyse aspects of black culture using theories drawn from poststructuralism and postmodernism.