By, Olivia Levis 1/29/2014
Nationally known writer Michael E. Dyson speaks to WSU students and faculty for the Martin Luther King Community Celebration.
Dyson began his lecture by addressing Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech. He spoke about how Dr. King is a dead icon and influences racial issues today. He passionately discussed how Dr. King was seen as a dangerous person, and how he had to overcome many challenges in his career. Dyson said, “Maybe Dr. King was dangerous because he challenges modes and ideas about what it means to be an American.” He continued on throughout the lecture discussing political issues such as women’s rights, racism, stereotypes, and gun control. He added humorous parts to the lecture by rapping versus of Snoop Dogg and Biggie Smalls songs. The lecture was concluded by a series of questions asked by the audience. The questions were collected via Twitter by using the hashtag #WSUMLK14. “I think that it’s important he [Dyson] reminded people of Martin Luther King’s message,” Dr. Carl Jubran said. “The way Dyson reminded us, especially the students of race, class, and gender issues; I think that’s what resonated for me and the undergraduates as well.”
The Martin Luther King Celebration at WSU has taken place this month on campus. This celebration brings well known speakers and authors to WSU to speak to students and faculty about Dr. King and his career. The speakers bring up issues of diversity and racism to help inform and educate the WSU community about racial issues today. It brings attention to the students at WSU about different issues that surround them on campus. Dr. John K. Osiri believes that lectures and events like this are important because “they help students evaluate thought processes and criticize themselves, and help them achieve that essence of self criticism.”
Dyson is a nationally known writer and scholar. He is an American Book Award recipient, two-time NAACP Image Award winner, and has been named one of the 150 most powerful African Americans by Ebony magazine. Dyson has taught at many universities around the nation. He currently teaches sociology at Georgetown University.
“This speech is very important to learn about how to advocate for my own community and learn about what a famous scholar has to say. It would be unfortunate if I wasn’t here to see Michael Eric Dyson, it’s such a privilege we have at WSU” Nahal Kaivan said.