The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever


Kent Garrett and Jeanne Ellsworth


In 1959, Harvard recruited an unprecedented eighteen “Negro” boys as an early form of affirmative action. Four years later they would graduate as African Americans. Fifty years later, one of these trailblazing Harvard grads, Kent Garrett, would reconnect with his classmates and explore their backgrounds, lives, and what their time at Harvard meant.

Part memoir, part group portrait, and part narrative history, local authors Garrett and Ellsworth recount how these eighteen youths broke new ground, with ramifications that extended far past the iconic Yard.



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