january 28
Gates' Way Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. does it for the kids in a lecture at "Lift Every Voice," which benefits the free after-school tutoring program Back on Track. Gates, an African-American oral and literary tradition scholar, is the author of Colored People: A Memoir and The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. He'll speak on "Race and Class in America" at 7:30 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, Lake & Arguello, S.F. Admission is $10-25; call 392-4400.

Kids & Plays The Magic Theater's Young California Writers Project began four years back with an intriguing premise, and is on its way to becoming local theatrical tradition. The idea was this: High school students attend and discuss professional plays, take a playwriting workshop, write their own works, and see their visions realized in staged readings by professional actors and directors. Broadway's future is now enrolled at Oakland Tech and Castlemont high schools. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. (also on Wednesday) at the Magic Theater, Fort Mason, S.F. Admission is free; call 441-8001.

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