Michael Eric Dyson to deliver MLK keynote at UMKC

To commemce Black History Month, UMKC is welcoming columnist, radio host and author, Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.
Dyson is listed as one of Ebony magazine’s 150 most powerful African-Americans, having  been presented with two NAACP Image Awards and  the American Book Award.

Dyson, a contributing editor of Time magazine,  has been the guest for countless programs, such as The O’Reilly Factor and Real Time with Bill Maher. He is currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, and hosts The Michael Eric Dyson Show on NPR.

Dyson will deliver the Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote address, 6 p.m., Jan. 30 at the Student Union Multipurpose Room.

According to  Philadelphia Weekly, Dyson “is reshaping what it means to be a public intellectual by becoming the most visible black academic of his time.”

Dyson was featured on the cover of Savoy magazine as, “one of the nation’s most influential public intellectuals.” He told the magazine  his most recent book, “Can You Hear Me Now? The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric

Dyson,” is a compilation of his “best quotes, most insightful paragraphs and most interesting and lively sentences from the last 20 years of work.”

Dyson began giving speeches when he was 10 years old.

“I’ve been running my mouth for about 45 years now,” he told Savoy. “I want to get better each time. I want to refine my craft. I want to deepen my roots of excellence.”

Dyson has covered several subjects, including race and identity, relationships and homophobia, and  the culture of hip hop.

In his book,  “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America,” Dyson wrote, “His dreams were the natural reflex of hope and redeemed curiosity.”

He told Newsweek  he wrote the book  to “take a look at how Dr. King’s martyrdom has both elevated and distorted his message and track where we were in terms of progress.”

The event is free and open to the public, but online registration is required through the UMKC Division of Diversity, Access, and Equity website, www.umkc.edu/diversity/. Free parking  will be available at the Cherry Street Parking Garage on levels five and six.

jturner@unews.com

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