Michael Eric Dyson is an American public intellectual who speaks out on issues that impact black people and their community. He is a professor, commentator and the author of more than a dozen books on race, politics, and the African-American experience. Dyson draws on his experience and journey from being a former Detroit gang member, factory worker and unwed father to become an ordained minister and earn his master’s and doctorate degrees from Princeton University.
The publishing of the books Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X and Between God and Gangsta Rap helped launch Dyson into the spotlight and established him as a heavy hitter in African American thought. He is taught at some of the country’s most prestigious universities including Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia.
He has hosted his own self-titled, syndicated radio show where he addresses social, cultural and political issues from a contemporary vantage point.
The events that have unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri over the last few weeks over the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson has prompted many people to speak out about the fact that cops kill a black person every 28 hours. Dyson recently addressed the issue and called on President Barack Obama to use his position and stature to explain to white people what the black experience with cops is like.
In an appearance on CBS, Dyson specifically called on Obama to tell the truth about why black people are hurt, angry and upset about the violence perpetrated on them by police. Dyson specifically requests that Obama address, “Especially white people, whose white privilege obscures them from what it means that their children can walk home and be safe, they’re not fearful of the fact that somebody will kill their child…”