ABWW Hero of the Day: Michael Eric Dyson

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is known as the hip hop professor and currently teaches at Georgetown University. Dyson draws on his personal life, marriages, and history to praise and celebrate black women. He starts with the women (mother, teachers, writers) who put his feet on the path from young welfare father in a Detroit ghetto to celebrated theologian, writer, and social commentator. He profiles several prominent and unknown black women who have made valuable contributions to national life and to Dyson’s personal life. Among the black female icons he celebrates are the revolutionaries Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, the legislators Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, and legal scholar Kimberle Williams Crenshaw. Dyson ties them to a historical lineage of black women who have supported black men despite strained relationships, disparities in income and educational levels, and interracial dating and marriage. Dyson takes to task those aspects of black culture, from hip-hop music to church doctrine, that undermine or disrespect black women. He ends with a sermon, a message of mutual respect and love that is particularly applicable to the continuing struggles of black men and women.

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