Commencement Speaker

Michael Eric Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson

Michael Eric Dyson is an award-winning author, esteemed public intellectual and a noted political analyst. He currently serves as a professor of sociology at Georgetown University.Dyson has taught at Brown University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University and The University of Pennsylvania. A native of Detroit, Dyson is an ordained Baptist minister, who holds a bachelor of arts from Carson-Newman and an MA and Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.

He has authored nearly twenty books on subjects such as the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April 4, 1968, Malcolm X, Rapper Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Tupac, Marvin Gaye, and Hurricane Katrina’s devastating and long lasting effects. He has won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-Fiction and was the recipient of the American Book Award in 2007 for his book, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.

Dyson is also a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an MSNBC political analyst, a contributing editor at New Republic and the host of the Michael Eric Dyson Podcast Featuring Dr. Dan Ratner. Essence Magazine named him one of the 40 most inspiring African Americans and Ebony Magazine has listed him among the 100 most influential black Americans. He often speaks at universities and political conventions, but he is also known for his more intimate speaking engagements at union halls, prisons, classrooms, and churches.

Throughout his career, Dyson has had a profound effect on American culture and thinking. His latest book, What Truth Sounds Like, continues the conversation he started in his 2017 bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop, which won the 2018 Southern Books Prize for nonfiction.