Jan. 10, 2001

CONTACT: Ward Mullens





YPSILANTI &endash; Dr. Michael Dyson, an author, professor and minister, will be the special guest for Eastern Michigan University's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration Jan. 15.

Dyson will speak at 2:15 p.m. at Pease Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Eastern Michigan University will host more than 30 different events related to its Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. For a complete list of EMU's planned events go to the MLK celebration Web site at

Highlights of the day's celebration include:

o A town hall meeting between community leaders and university officials, 4:30 p.m., McKenny Union Ballroom.

o Hip Hop Explosion featuring music and poetry, 7 p.m., Pease Auditorium.

o Master storyteller LaRon Williams and Ardis Renaissance Academy present "Children of the 21st Century," 10:30 a.m., McKenny Union.

Dyson, presently visiting distinguished professor of African-American studies at Columbia University, has been called "one of the youngest stars in the firmament of black intellectuals" and lauded as "one of the most important voices of his generation."

His most recent work, "I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.," released last fall, takes an in-depth look at the real King, a key figure in the civil rights movement, foibles and all. Dyson's 1993 book debut, "Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism," won the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights Award in 1994. His critically-acclaimed follow-up, "Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X," was named a "Notable Book of 1994" by The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dyson received his B.A. in philosophy, magna cum laude, from Carson-Newman College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in religion from Princeton University.

His commentary on American culture has landed him on Nightline, The Charlie Rose Show, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Articles have been written about him in Time, U.S. News and World Report, U.S.A. Today and The New Yorker. He also has appeared on the cover of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dyson's luncheon comments will be broadcast live by WEMU (89.1 FM) at 1 p.m.

For more information on EMU's MLK Day events, call Campus Life, 487-3045.