|Vol. 17, No. 19||Feb. 12, 1998|
African-American scholar and author Michael Eric Dyson will discuss the influence of hip hop and rap music on African-American culture at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Multipurpose Rooms A and B of the Trabant University Center.
His talk, "Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture," is part of the University's African Consciousness Celebration.
The New Yorker hailed Dyson as a prominent figure among a generation of black thinkers that is becoming "the most dynamic force in the American intellectual scene since the 1950s." He has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post Book Word, The Nation, The Chicago Times, Vibe, Emerge and Rolling Stone, as well as a number of academic journals. He received the 1992 Award of Excellence in Journalism for Magazines from the National Association of Black Journalists and was the subject of a cover profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education in 1995.
His first book, Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism, won the 1994 Gustave Myers Center Award for Outstanding Book on Human Rights. His second book, Making Malcom: The Myth and Meaning of Malcom X was named a notable book of 1994 by both The New York Times Book Review and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Of his third book, Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture, a U.S.A. Today reviewer wrote, "Dyson's writing possesses an enviable energy and ability to mesh influences that include everything from Shakespeare to Public Enemy."
His most recent book is Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line, which explores the intricate dynamics of race relations in the U.S. The work has been called, "strong and disarming-often brilliant, and always electric in its energy...an intelligent, often deliciously amusing work that let's nobody-including its own author-off the hook."
Dyson, who began his young adult life as a welfare father in Detroit, earned his doctorate from Princeton University and also is an ordained Baptist minister and former pastor. He has taught at Hartford Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary and at Brown University. He is a former professor of communications studies and director of the Institute of African-American Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He now teaches at Columbia University's Institute for Research in African American Studies.
His UD appearance is partly funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, in cooperation with the National Endowment of the Humanities. Other sponsors include the UD departments of History and Philosophy, the Office of Affirmative Action and Multicultural Programs, the Black American Studies Program, the Black Student Union, the Center for Black Culture, the Cultural Programming Advisory Board and the College of Human Resources, Education and Public Policy.
For more information, call 831-2991 or send e-mail to cbc@udel. edu
Local youth invited to rap programWilmington youth are being encouraged to attend the talk, "Hip Hop and Rap Music, One of Our Cultural Values?" to be presented by educator and author Michael Eric Dyson at at 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25.
The City of Wilmington's Department of Parks and Recreation has joined the growing list of event sponsors and has pledged to make transportation available for city youth from all community centers and Boys and Girls Clubs. A youth reception will be held preceding Dyson's talk.
"The students on campus love Dyson and are really excited about his appearance," Vernese Edghill, Center for Black Culture, said. "We're really reaching out to share this experience with the youth in the community. We're eager to get the word out that this will be more than a talk, it will be a discussion around cultural values and the African-American community. Discussion questions will be provided."