Queen Latifah’s contributions to Black culture will be recognized by Harvard University later this month.
The rapper/singer/actress is among seven honorees who will receive the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research announced Oct. 9.
The recognition is the Ivy League school’s highest honor in the African and African American studies disciplines.
“The spirit of inquiry, truth-telling, activism, and reconciliation that gave birth to both is present in unique ways in each of the seven individuals we honor this year,” chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center Glenn Hutchins said according to The Harvard Crimson.
Latifah is going to be honored with the medal, which is named after the writer, Pan-Africanist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois who was the first Black student to earn a doctorate from Harvard in 1895, on Oct. 22 at the Sanders Theatre. She will be recognized along with fellow honorees Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III, poet, educator and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Elizabeth Alexander, BET co-founder Sheila C. Johnson, artist Kerry James Marshall, poet Rita Dove and billionaire philanthropist and Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert F. Smith. Smith notably promised to eliminate the student debt of Morehouse College students this past May.
Latifah has yet to publicly respond to her impending recognition but fans have applauded the star, whose résumé includes hit singles like “U.N.I.T.Y.” as well as movies like “Set It Off”, a sitcom in “Living Single,” and an Oscar-nominated performance in 2002’s “Chicago,” not to mention a career in live musicals and a jazz album.
“Congratulations Congratulations You deserve it Love ❤️❤️❤️ 😘💖❤️ goes”
“YAS, QUEEN!!! She was QWEEN B before that other lady ever hit the scene big. #YasQueen #MyQueenB 😘💪🏼😍”
“All hail the Queen @IAMQUEENLATIFAH”
The performer will join the likes of free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and comedian Dave Chappelle as a Du Bois medalist; each of those stars earned the honor last year.