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Michael Eric Dyson, one of the nation’s most dynamic scholars and authors on race and ethnicity, will deliver the keynote speech of Lafayette College’s Black History Month celebration at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Dyson’s topic will be “Race Rules: Navigating the Color Line.” The talk is free and open to the public.

An ordained Baptist minister, Dyson is senior research scholar at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. He previously served as director of the Institute of African-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The title of Dyson’s talk is the same as that of a collection of his essays published in 1996 by Perseus Press in which Dyson deals with the problem of racial division in the United States and explores divisions within the African American community.

Dyson is also the author of Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture (Oxford University Press, 1996), in which he charts the progress and pain of African Americans over the past decade, and brings together writings on music, religion, politics, and identity to offer a multi-faceted view of black life.

He has also written Reflecting Black: African-American Cultural Criticism (University of Minnesota Press, 1993), and Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X (Oxford University Press, 1995) and authored articles in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Nation, Vibe, Emerge, and Rolling Stone.

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