Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Features Michael Eric Dyson Jan 29
By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
January 16, 2008
Michael Eric Dyson, social analyst, hip-hop intellectual, ordained minister,
radio commentator, bestselling author and Georgetown University professor,
is the keynote speaker at UNH’s 18th annual Martin Luther King, Jr.
celebration January 24–30. This week-long celebration based on the
theme “Holler if you hear me: Race, Culture and, Democracy” will
focus on King's work for a free and just democracy.
Dyson, a prominent African American scholar, has been named by Essence
magazine as one of the 40 most inspiring African-Americans and by Ebony
magazine as one of the 100 most influential black Americans. He has been
nominated for the prestigious NAACP Image Award three times – and
has won it twice.
While Dyson has taught at some of the nation’s most prestigious
universities, including Brown, UNC at Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania
and Columbia, his influence has carried far beyond the academy - into political
conventions and union halls, prisons and bookstores, church sanctuaries
and lecture stages across the world.
Dyson has also taken the media by storm through appearances on “The
Today Show,” “ABC News Nightline,” “The O’Reilly
Factor,” “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Real Time
with Bill Maher” – and he has galvanized star appeal on such
shows as “Rap City,” “Def Poetry Jam” and “The
Colbert Report.” Dyson is also the host of the syndicated radio show,
The Michael Eric Dyson Show, which addresses social, cultural and political
issues in a contemporary vein.
Dyson’s scholarship has won him legions of admirers and has made
him what The Washington Post terms a “superstar professor.” His
fearless and fiery oratory led the Chronicle of Higher Education to declare
that with his rhetorical gifts, he “can rock classroom and chapel
alike.” Vanity Fair magazine has described him as “one of the
most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today.”
Dyson will deliver his keynote address, “Dr. King for the 21st Century”,
on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in Johnson Theatre at the Paul Creative
Arts Center. Dyson’s talk will present a King far more radical than
the one trotted out for mainstream consumption on the third Monday of every
“We must rebel,” he says, “against the varieties of
amnesia that compete to reduce King to an icon for the status quo or a
puppet of civil and social order.”
In addition to Dyson’s address, the event will feature African drumming
and dance, spoken word presentation, and a step performance by Dartmouth
College Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. A reception and book signing with
Dyson will follow the presentation.
Other events honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. at UNH include:
Jan.24, 6 p.m., Memorial Union Building- photo art exhibit
“In Search of Democracy: A Refugee Story” introduces seven
refugee families who came to New Hampshire in search of a more secure union
and the ideals put forth by democracy: All people are created equal and
have the right to security, liberty, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.
Photos were done by students from UNH, McIntosh College, and the New Hampshire
Institute of Art.
Jan.27, 4 p.m., St. Georges Episcopal Church, downtown Durham- spiritual
“Soul and Spirit of Democracy” - An inter-faith celebration
that affirms, supports, and highlights the spiritual foundation that Martin
Luther King, Jr. brought to his work and life. This is a spirited gathering
with a message through song, drumming, Chautauqua presentations, music,
poetry, dance, words and candle lighting.
Jan.29, 12:30 p.m., Strafford Room, Memorial Union Building- education
“The Rap on Democracy: Culture, Power, and Social Change” will
examine King’s radical legacy through the politics of rap, woman-centered
politics at UNH, and political work in the New Hampshire legislature and
Nigerian elections. Panelists include Michael Eric Dyson, UNH history professor
Harvard Sitkoff, The Honorable Jackie Weatherspoon and UNH student Cait
Jan.31, noon, Granite State Room, Memorial Union Building-Student Activism
The Act Now Campus Activism Fair seeks to not only raise awareness around
the global plight of refugee and immigrant populations--particularly those
resettling in the local area-- but also to provide student and community
activists the chance to explore a range of service opportunities that are
in direct support of the refugee and immigrant populations of New Hampshire.
All events are free and open to the public. Parking is free after 6 p.m.
and on weekends. For updated information about the events visit: http://www.unh.edu/diversity/mlk_celebration.html or call JerriAnne Boggis at 2-0693. Call 2-0693 for information about accessibility.