Friday, March 28, 2008
Dr. Michael Erik Dyson brought a standing-room-only crowd to the Campus Center Ballroom at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series. The celebrated author and scholar spoke for an hour about politics, love, honor and respect and received a standing ovation when he ended his oration.
The MLK lecture series is hosted by the Center for African-American Male Research, Success and Leadership (CAAMRSL) and was a free event open to faculty staff and students and the metro Atlanta community.
After the book signing, Dyson and a CNN crew filmed a live segment for the “Larry King Live” show in the UWG Campus Center.
Dyson, a prominent African American scholar who received his doctorate in religion from Princeton University, has gained star appeal on shows such as “Rap City,” “Def Poetry Jam” and “The Colbert Report.” Dyson also hosts his own syndicated radio show, “The Michael Eric Dyson Show,” which addresses social, cultural and political issues in a contemporary venue.
He has been named by Essence magazine as one of the 40 most inspiring African-Americans and by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most influential black Americans.
“The lecture series helps inspire UWG students,” said Dr. Said Sewell, associate professor of political science and planning and director of CAMMRSL. “By bringing Dr. Dyson, we continue to fulfill our duty to motivate students and the surrounding community. Dr. Michael Dyson will help us persevere in our endless journey of greatness.”
While Dyson has taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Brown University, University of Pennsylvania and Colombia University, his influence extends beyond the academy and into political conventions, union halls, prisons, bookstores, church sanctuaries and lecture stages across the world. Dyson is also an accomplished author, taking on some of the toughest and most controversial issues of our day, including Martin Luther King, Jr.’s radical legacy in “I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.” and issues of racial conflict and black identity in “Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line.”
His other publications include “Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur” and “Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.” The UWG Bookstore has several of Dyson’s books in stock and will sell signed copies at the event.
Sewell opened the CAMMRSL in 2005 to develop and implement programs that help African American males have a successful transition from high school to post-secondary institutions. In addition to the MLK Distinguished Lecture Series, the center sponsors other programs such as the W.E.B. Dubois Academic Institute, The Black Males With Initiative Program and the African-American Male Learning Community.
For more information, call 678-839-4997 or visit www.westga.edu/~caamrsl.