All Articles Tagged "michael eric dyson"
Cornel West is no stranger to harsh language, and harsh is the most appropriate word to describe the words he had for Barack Obama and several black political pundits on a recent episode of Democracy Now. Dr. West was asked to weigh in on the issue of poverty in America, a topic that was oft-neglected during this election, in lieu of the astronomical amount of money that was spent on campaigning this year — $6 billion.
Not one to mince words, Dr. West went straight for the jugular when host Amy Goodman asked him how he feels about the spending that took place this election season.
“I think that it’s morally obscene and spiritually profane to send $6 billion on an election, $2 billion on a presidential election, and not have any serious discussion—poverty, trade unions being pushed against the wall dealing with stagnating and declining wages when profits are still up and the 1 percent are doing very well, no talk about drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” Dr. West said. “So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems—ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it’s very sad. I mean, I’m glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.”
Tavis Smiley was interviewed alongside Dr. West and insinuated that political thought leaders like Melissa Harris-Perry, Al Sharpton, and Michael Eric Dyson, who have been vocally supportive of the President, need to push him to have a stronger stance on certain issues. Dr. West was nowhere near as PC, telling Goodman:
“I love Brother Mike Dyson… but we’re living in a society where everybody is up for sale. Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people.”
And when it comes to a statement Dyson made in which he called the President progressive, Dr. West said this:
“In the president’s forward motion in the second term to establish a legacy—and I don’t think that being president ought to be about a legacy; it ought to be about advancing the best for the American people. But in this conversation about his legacy, I want to see what risk he’s going to take. Is he going to put himself on the line for poor people? Is he going have an honest conversation about drones? As Doc said earlier, you know, is he ever going to say the word prison—the phrase, “prison-industrial complex”? Reagan wouldn’t say “AIDS.” Bush wouldn’t say “climate change.” Will Obama say “prison-industrial complex”? I mean, I want to know where the risk is that equates to being the most progressive president ever. That’s the—I don’t get that.”
Well, say it like you mean it.
Check out the full interview here. What do you think about what Cornel West had to say?
This Fall, Michael Eric Dyson, noted author, educator, and public speaker will be teaching a sociology class titled “The Sociology of Jay-Z” at Georgetown University. Dyson will draw from texts such as Jay-Z’s own Decoded, Adam Bradley’s Book of Rhymes, and Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Empire State of Mind, along with other articles and films about hip-hop culture.
Dyson spoke with MTV about the project last week while at Jay-Z’s carnival-themed fundraiser for the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation:
“We look at his incredible body of work, we look at his own understanding of his work, we look at others who reflect upon him, and then we ask the students to engage in critical analysis of Jay-Z himself. Not only is he a remarkable rhetorical genius, he’s also a man of deep sympathy and empathy for those who are lost and vulnerable, but especially under-educated youth of all cultures and stripes” Dyson explained.
“The Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z” is not the first course at an institution of higher learning that focuses primarily on hip-hop or an extraordinary hip-hop superstar, however it does speak to a growing academic interest in hip-hop culture and more efforts in the classroom to look at the music as a form of social expression and activism. Jay-Z has built his career on being extremely honest about the trappings of the inner city, whether he’s focusing on young men and women being the product of a failed education system or selling drugs as a means of commerce in communities that are jobless. This course is an amazing opportunity to look not only at the conditions that create the urban struggle but also an opportunity for students to think critically about solutions to problems faced by those who live in poverty in American cities. Yeah, it’s that deep.
According to Dyson, there is an incredible amount interest and excitement on campus, where a typical class may have 30-40 slots, over 140 students have attempted to sign up for this class in particular. This is definitely a step in the right direction by Georgetown University, Dyson, and a more positive look for Jay-Z. Hopefully more schools will take note to the global phenomenon that is hip-hop culture and the artistry it represents. [MTVRapFix]
There are tons of award shows devoted to honoring musicians and actors but the African American Literary Awards are the only awards that take the time out to highlight the accomplishments of black writers. The awards were created by Yvette Hayward, a public relations executive who worked extensively with black authors. Now in its 7th year the show draws some pretty big names. Madame Noire attended the show and spoke with several special guests.
Public intellectual, celebrity academic, scholar with a media strategy – there’s a lot ways to describe a professor that keeps one foot in the ivory tower and the other in the limelight. Sometimes you will find yourself appreciative of the musings, such as when Henry Louis Gates tackles some new facet of the black narrative. At other turns you may wince at the volume of their views– such as those expressed by Cornel West in a recent face-off with Al Sharpton — even if you agree with their positions. The Atlanta Post looks at these professors and four others who have established a presence far beyond the classroom.
As far as academics in the public eye, very few people get around as much as Cornel West. Princeton and a weekly radio show with co-host Tavis Smiley are regular gigs. Beyond that he’s liable to show up anywhere. Cable news shows are a given, as are an endless array of forums on race. But that’s also him in the studio cutting singles alongside Prince and Jill Scott, or racking up film credits in the Matrix franchise, which is the only time you’ll catch West in anything other than the trademark three-piece black suit.