Michael Dyson, called one of a group of "new intellectuals," is a professor, lecturer, and an author who addresses issues of race and culture on television and in publications from Christian Century to Rolling Stone. His future wasn't always so promising . . .
Michael Eric Dyson, born on October 23, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, is the son of Everett and Addie Dyson. Young Dyson grew up in a middle class family. His father was an autoworker, his mother a para-professional in the city schools.
Dyson was an active youngster attending boarding school at the age of 16. It wasn't long before he began to feel uncomfortable around his classmates, who treated him as an outcast, often wrecking his dorm room and personal items, and calling him racist names. Dyson lashed out against these students and the school and was expelled.
He returned to public high school and graduated in 1976, after which he became a teenage father-to-be living on welfare. These responsibilities led him to accept a series maintenance and auto sales jobs. He also hustled and was a gang member, and it seemed as if this existence was going to be his life. Yet through everything, Dyson stayed with his Baptist church and slowly began to rediscover his love of oratory. With the help of his church pastor, Dyson studied and became a minister by the time he was 21.
He attended Tennessee's Knoxville College divinity school, and later transferred to Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City where he earned a bachelor's degree with high honors in 1982. After doing his undergraduate work, Dyson worked as a freelance journalist. This helped him to raise money to help his younger brother, who had gone to prison in the early 1980s for second-degree murder. He worked for numerous magazines and newspapers, writing on African-American popular culture and music. He then began his career in academia by accepting a graduate fellowship at Princeton University.
He also taught at Princeton, Hartford Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. in 1993. Other academic credits for him include: Brown University, Providence, RI, assistant professor, c. 1993-95; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, c. 1995-97; Columbia University, visiting distinguished professor, 1997-99; DePaul University, Chicago, IL, Ida B. Wells-Barnett University professor, 1999-2002; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Avalon Foundation professor, 2002.
He married his second wife, Marcia Louise in 1992; and has two children: Michael II and Maisha.
Called one of a group of "new intellectuals," scholar Michael Eric Dyson is a professor, lecturer, and an author who addresses issues of race and culture on television and in publications from Christian Century to Rolling Stone.
Excerpts from http://www.anothershadeofcolor.com.