Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is the New York Times Bestselling author of What the Truth Sounds Like, Tears We Cannot Stop, The Black Presidency, I May Not Get There With You, and Is Bill Cosby Right?
He occupies the distinguished position of University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He is a New York Times contributing opinion writer, a contributing editor of The New Republic, and contributing editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated. Ebony magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans, and one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation. Previously he has held professorships at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Dyson’s influence has spread far beyond the academy in his roles of renowned orator, highly sought-after lecturer, and ordained Baptist minister. For the last quarter century, Dyson has also enlivened public debate across the media landscape on every major television and radio show in the country, from Good Morning America to the Today Show, from NPR’s All Things Considered to its former show Talk of the Nation, from the Charlie Rose Show to Def Poetry Jam, from This Week with George Stephanopoulos to Meet the Press, and from Real Time with Bill Maher to Late Night with Stephen Colbert.
Dyson has won many prestigious honors, including an American Book Award and two NAACP Image Awards. Ebony magazine cited him as one of the 100 most influential African Americans, and as one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation.
Dyson’s pioneering scholarship has had a profound affect on American ideas. His 1994 book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X, was named one of the most important African American books of the 20th century and was also named a "Notable Book of the year" by the New York Times. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Dyson’s 2001 book, Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, helped to make books on hip hop commercially viable.
And Dyson’s 2005 New York Times bestseller Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? helped to jump start a national conversation on the black poor. Dyson’s recent book, the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, has been described by The New York Times as "an interpretive miracle." It was a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Kirkus Prize. Dyson's latest book is the widely praised New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, has. Even described by the New York Times as "One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait. Dyson's eloquent writing has inspired Vanity Fair magazine to describe him as "one of the most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today."
Dyson's legendary ascent – from welfare father to Princeton Ph.D., from church pastor to college professor, from a factory worker who didn’t start college until he was 21 -- may help explain why writer Naomi Wolf calls him “the ideal public intellectual of our time."