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Black News and News Makers in History: Michael Dyson

Black news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Michael Dyson success story this week in Black historyMichael 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.

 
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Black News and News Makers in History

4/17/1990: August Wilson, playwright, wins second Pulitzer Prize for drama with "The Piano Lesson."

4/18/1955: Bill Russell named Boston Celtics coach, first African American to coach established professional athletics team.

4/18/1976: Percy Julian, inventor of over 138 chemical patents & pioneer synthesizer of cortisone drugs, dies.

4/19/1947: Jackie Robinson becomes first African American major league baseball player.

4/19/1775: Minutemen, of both black and white ethnicity, fought British soldiers at Lexington, Concord, & Bunker Hill.

4/19/1887: Elijah J McCoy, inventor, patents lubricant attachment.

4/19/1892: Robert Coates, inventor, patents overboot for horses.

4/20/1853: Harriet Tubman, fugitive slave, freedom fighter & spy, starts Underground Railroad. Read More.

4/20/1899: Edward ("Duke") Kennedy Ellington, entertainer, born.

4/21/2003: Nina Simone, singer, dies in Paris France.

4/22/1596: First recorded slave revolt occurs in Stono, SC.

4/22/1970: Yale University students protest in support of Black Panthers.

4/22/1978: Bob Marley, singer, held famous "One Love" concert.

4/23/1856: Granville T. Woods, prolific inventor, born.

4/23/1872: Charlotte E. Ray becomes first female African American attorney. Read More.

4/23/1913: National Urban League founded.