Campus News

Author, scholar Michael Eric Dyson will deliver sixth annual Mary Frances Early Lecture on April 4

Best-selling author and scholar Michael Eric Dyson will deliver the keynote address at the sixth annual Mary Frances Early Lecture on April 4 at Charlie Murphy is known for his role on the sketch/variety program Chappell’s Show on the Comedy Central television network. 7 p.m. in the Chapel.

His speech, “Remembering Our Past, Securing Our Future: African American Leadership in the 21st Century,” is sponsored by Graduate and Professional Scholars at UGA, and is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow.

The lecture honors the first ­African-American graduate of UGA, Mary Frances Early, who earned a master of music education degree in 1962.

Early recently retired as chair of the music department and professor of music at Clark Atlanta University. She played an integral role in the desegregation of UGA. That role is featured in the documentary Foot Soldiers for Equal Justice, co-produced by f Maurice Daniels, dean of the School or Social Work and former GAPS adviser.

Dyson has lectured at universities, churches, conventions and conferences and has interviewed with numerous television hosts such as Tavis Smiley, ­Dennis Miller, Paula Zhan, Bill Maher, Bill O’Reilly and Ted Koppel. Essence magazine named Dyson one of the 50 most inspiring African Americans. His literary and political efforts have been rewarded with the 1992 Magazine Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the 2004 NAACP Image Award for outstanding nonfiction literary work for his national bestseller, Why I Love Black Women, and the 2005 BET/General Motors Black History Makers Award.

Dyson has written numerous books including, Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?, Come Hell of High Water: Hurricane Katrina and Color of Disaster and Pride: The Seven Deadly Sins.

In addition to his writings, Dyson has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University and DePaul University. He is presently the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.