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Author - Dyson
Michael Eric Dyson is a professor, preacher, radio host, and an author. His books, Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line, and What Truth Sounds Like, are part of the Upton Bell Collection at UMass Lowell Libraries in O'Leary Library, 2nd Floor Special Collections. What Truth Sounds like includes a personal inscription.
Inscription - Dyson
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Books - Dyson
Race Rules by
Call Number: E 185.615 .D95 1996
Publication Date: 1996-10-17
Former welfare father, ordained Baptist minister, and Princeton Ph.D., Michael Eric Dyson is best known for taking black studies ”to the streets” with his passion for popular culture and his commitment to urban youth. Here he unearths the hidden rules that poison our language, our thinking, and our politics.Dyson reveals the pernicious influence of racial thinking across the broad canvas of American social and cultural life, from the disjunction between how whites and blacks view the world, to the way perceptions of black masculinity thwart black leadership, to the politics of nostalgia that keeps us looking to an imaginary past rather than creating a positive future. Through painful examples drawn from within the black community--sexual conflict in the black church, the myth of the ”head Negro,” relations between black men and women--he depicts our ongoing failure to break free of the rule of race.”In a color-blind society, we can only see black and white,” warns Dyson as he argues for color consciousness informed by history and shaped by hope. provocative and compelling, Race Rules is the most important work to date from the ”hip-hop intellectual” who stands at the forefront of his generation of black public thinkers.
What Truth Sounds Like by
Call Number: E 185.61 .D996 2018
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
In 2015 BLM activist Julius Jones confronted Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with an urgent query: "What in your heart has changed that's going to change the direction of this country?" "I don't believe you just change hearts," she protested. "I believe you change laws."The fraught conflict between conscience and politics - between morality and power - in addressing race hardly began with Clinton. An electrifying and traumatic encounter in the sixties crystallized these furious disputes.In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith's relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry - that the black folk assembled didn't understand politics, and that they weren't as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy's anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. "I guess if I were in his shoes...I might feel differently about this country." Kennedy set about changing policy - the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he'd never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for black dissent in our own time. His belief that black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys' efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood. The contributions of black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy - versus the racial experience of Baldwin - is a cudgel to excoriate black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate black interests persists. And we grapple still with the responsibility of black intellectuals and artists to bring about social change.This book exists at the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy - of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. The future of race and democracy hang in the balance.