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Michael Eric Dyson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial 4 April 2012 crop.jpg
Dyson in 2012
Born (1958-10-23) October 23, 1958 (age 59)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Knoxville College
Carson-Newman College (BA, 1985)
Princeton University (MA, 1991)
Princeton University (PhD, 1993)
Occupation Author, Professor
Employer Georgetown University
Political party Democratic Party[1]
Spouse(s) Theresa Taylor (m. 1977; div. 1979)[2]
Brenda Joyce (m. 1982; div. 1992)
Marcia Louise (m. 1992)(now separated)

Michael Eric Dyson (born October 23, 1958) is an academic, author, preacher, and radio host. He is a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.[3] Described by Michael A. Fletcher as "a Princeton Ph.D. and a child of the streets who takes pains never to separate the two",[4] Dyson has authored or edited more than twenty books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Nas's debut album Illmatic, Bill Cosby, Tupac Shakur, and Hurricane Katrina. In 2018, Dyson participated in the prestigious Munk Debates, a semi-annual debate that takes place in Toronto, Canada.[5]

Personal life

Dyson was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Addie Mae Leonard, who was from Alabama. He was adopted by his stepfather, Everett Dyson.[6] He attended Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on an academic scholarship but left and completed his education at Northwestern High School.[4] He became an ordained Baptist minister at 19 years of age.[7] Having worked in factories in Detroit to support his family, he entered Knoxville College as a freshman at the age of 21.[8] Dyson received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Carson–Newman College in 1985.[4] He obtained his master's and Ph.D in religion, from Princeton University. Dyson served on the board of directors of the Common Ground Foundation, a project dedicated to empowering urban youth in the United States.[9] Dyson and his third wife,writer and ordained minister Marcia L. Dyson (now separated),[4] were regular guests and speakers at the Aspen Institute Conferences and Ideas Festival.[10][11] Together, they lectured on many American college campuses. Dr. Dyson most recently hosted a television show, The Raw Word.


Dyson has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania.[4] Since 2007, he has been a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. His 1994 book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X became a New York Times notable book of the year.[12] In his 2006 book Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Dyson analyzes the political and social events in the wake of the catastrophe against the backdrop of an overall "failure in race and class relations".[13][14][15] In 2010, Dyson edited Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic, with contributions based on the album’s tracks by, among others, Kevin Coval, Kyra D. Gaunt ("Professor G"), dream hampton, Marc Lamont Hill, Adam Mansbach, and Mark Anthony Neal.[16] Dyson's own essay in this anthology, "'One Love,' Two Brothers, Three Verses", argues that the current US penal system disfavors young black males more than any other segment of the population.[17][18] Dyson hosted a radio show, which aired on Radio One, from January 2006 to February 2007. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio and CNN, and is a regular guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Beginning July 2011 Michael Eric Dyson became a political analyst for MSNBC.

The Michael Eric Dyson Show

The Michael Eric Dyson Show radio program debuted on April 6, 2009, and is broadcast from Morgan State University. The show's first guest was Oprah Winfrey,[19] to whom Dyson dedicated his book Can You Hear Me Now?: The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson. The show appears to have been discontinued with its last episode being in December 2011.

Munk debate

On May 18th, 2018, Dyson participated in a live debate with Jordan Peterson, Stephen Fry, and Michelle Goldberg as part of the Munk Debates. The topic of the debate was political correctness.[20] Peterson and Fry won the debate, gaining 6 percent of the audience support from their opponents.[21] Meanwhile, Dyson and Goldberg were criticized for frequent and irrelevant ad hominem arguments against Peterson, most notably when Dyson called Peterson a "mean, mad, white man."[21]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Work Result
2004 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction Why I Love Black Women Winner[22]
2006 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? Winner[22]
2007 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster Nominee[23]
2007 American Book Award Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster Winner[24]



  1. ^ "List of Registered Voters" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections. 30 May 2016. p. 3871. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Armstrong, Elizabeth (March 15, 2001). "The Pure Heart of Gangsta Rap". Chicago Reader. 
  3. ^ Michael E Dyson, Department of Sociology, Georgetown University
  4. ^ a b c d e Michael A. Fletcher (Spring 2000). "Michael Eric Dyson: A Scholar and a Hip-Hop Preacher.", The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Michael Eric Dyson". 
  7. ^ Marie Arana (August 24, 2003). "Michael Eric Dyson. Telling It Any Way He Can.", The Washington Post.
  8. ^ Michael Eric Dyson (April 2, 2011). "Manning Marable: A Brother, a Mentor, a Great Mind." Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., The Root.
  9. ^ Staff (2007). "Biography: Dr. Michael Eric Dyson" Archived November 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Common Ground Foundation, board members.
  10. ^ Staff (2011) "2011 Speakers. Marcia Dyson", Aspen Ideas Festival. The Aspen Institute.
  11. ^ Staff (2011). "2011 Speakers. Michael Eric Dyson", Aspen Ideas Festival. The Aspen Institute.
  12. ^ Calvin Reid (February 21, 2000). "Interview. Michael Eric Dyson: Of Her s and Hip-hop. The real challenge of King's heroism is to make it a useful heroism", Publishers Weekly.
  13. ^ Austin Considine (February 5, 2006). "Disparities revealed in Katrina's wake / Race, class central to analysis of how nation failed victims", San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^ Staff (April 2006). "The center of the storm", Ebony.
  15. ^ Staff (January 16, 2006). "Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster", Publishers Weekly.
  16. ^ Michael Eric Dyson; Sohail Daulatzai (December 28, 2009). Born To Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic. Basic Civitas Books. pp. v–vi. ISBN 978-0-465-00211-5. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  17. ^ Dyson; Daulatzai (2009). Born To Use Mics:. p. 131. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ Alessandro Porco (May 2009). "'Time is Illmatic': A Critical Retrospective on Nas's Groundbreaking Debut", Postmodern Culture – Volume 19, Number 3.
  19. ^ Richard Prince (April 1, 2009). "Oprah to Inaugurate Michael Eric Dyson Radio Show" Archived November 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Maynard Institute. Richard Prince's Journal-isms™.
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b Jordan Peterson, Stephen Fry Defeat Michael Eric Dyson And Michelle Goldberg In Munk Debate; by Nicholas Morine; Inquisitor; May 19, 2018
  22. ^ a b Staff. "NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction" Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Harris County Public Library.
  23. ^ Kam Williams (2007). "38th NAACP Image Awards (2007)". AALBC. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  24. ^ American Booksellers Association (2013). "The American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation [1980–2012]". BookWeb. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 2007 [...] Michael Eric Dyson, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster (Basic Books) 
  25. ^ Lartigue, Casey, Jr. (December 25, 2005). "Black youth must think bigger". Black America Today. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. 

External links

This page was last edited on 26 May 2018, at 22:48.
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