Michael Eric Dyson visited UNC Pembroke as the third guest speaker of the Distinguished Speaker Series, presented by the Office of Campus Engagement and Leadership (CEL) at the Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC) on Jan. 24.
Dyson is a sociology professor at Georgetown University and a Baptist minister. He is a contributing opinion writer for the "New York Times" and a contributing editor of "The New Republic" and ESPN’s "The Undefeated" website. He frequently appears on CNN as an analyst.
Dyson is a best-selling author. He has published more than 20 books related to Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Marvin Gaye, Bill Cosby and Tupac Shakur.
Students, faculty, staff and members of the community gathered in GPAC for the event. CEL director Abdul Ghaffar conducted the interview with Dyson on stage.
Dyson spoke about his views on the hip-hop culture of today’s society. He also discussed the significance of Martin Luther King’s speech and its relevance to the black and white population in America.
“Dr. Dyson is uniquely situated to discuss these topics given his credentials and ethnicity,” junior Jalen Cole said. “One thing he excels at is relating topics of import to popular culture, allowing audiences – young and old – to gain an appreciation for his messages.”
Dyson interacted with the staff and faculty at UNCP. He expressed his gratitude by acknowledging them during his interview, particularly African American history professor Dr. David Walton.
After the initial conversation, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions through Twitter using #uncpspeakers.
To end the night, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. awarded Dyson with the Community Excellence Award for his support.
Despite controversy stirring on Facebook about Dyson’s visit, UNCP still allowed him to share his experiences with the students.
PN Photo/Micheál DeMers