Queen Latifah to be honored by Harvard for her contributions to black culture

Queen Latifah arrives at "America's Got Talent" Season 14 Live Show Red Carpet at Dolby Theatre on September 10, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

MASSACHUSETTS — Queen Latifah will be awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal by Harvard University for her contributions to black history and culture on Tuesday.

Latifah is one of seven honorees who will be recognized for their efforts at Harvard’s Hutchins Center Honors.

The event will take place at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre on its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The music artist, producer, and actress has earned a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe. In 2006, Latifah became the first hip-hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The icon, whose real name is Dana Owens, wrote “Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman” and hosted her talk show, “The Queen Latifah Show”, for almost four years.

The award is named after William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois, a scholar, writer, and civil rights activist who was the first black student to earn a doctorate from Harvard in 1895.

Previous recipients of the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal include Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Dave Chappelle, Octavia Hudson and Nasir “Nas” Jones.

The medal is Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American studies. According to the Hutchins Center, it is “awarded to individuals in the United States and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind.”

Along with Latifah, Elizabeth Alexander, Lonnie Bunch III, Rita Dove, Sheila C. Johnson, Kerry James Marshall, and Robert F. Smith will receive the award on Tuesday.

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