Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree delivered the Nathan I. Huggins Lecture on November 15th, 16th, and 17th at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. The lecture series, “Understanding Obama,” is divided into three parts: “From Barry to Barack,” “The Emergence of Race” and “The Conundrum of Race.”

Ogletree kicked off the lecture series on Tuesday with a talk that focused on Obama’s childhood, schooling, and early career, tracing the role race and religion played in forming his character. Read full coverage of the talk in the Nov. 16, 2011, editions of the Harvard Gazette and the Harvard Crimson.

The Nathan I. Huggins Lecture Series was established in memory of the late Nathan Huggins, a distinguished historian of African American history and the first occupant of the W. E. B. Du Bois Professorship at Harvard University. Huggins, who died in 1989, was chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He wrote “Slave and Citizen: The Life of Frederick Douglas” (Little, Brown: 1980) and “Black Odyssey: The African-American Ordeal in Slavery “(Pantheon, 1990).

The Huggins lecture series was developed to bring scholars from around the country to discuss topics related to African American history. The lectures are later published by Harvard University Press, a co-sponsor of the event. Previous Huggins lecturers include Neil Foley, Paul Finkelman and Harold Holzer.

Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He is the author of several books, including most recently “The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America” (Palgrave-Macmillan 2010).