Michael Eric Dyson (born October 23, 1958) is an academic, author, and radio host. He is a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. Described by Michael A. Fletcher as “a Princeton Ph.D. and a child of the streets who takes pains never to separate the two”, Dyson has authored or edited 18 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Nas’s debut album Illmatic, Bill Cosby, Tupac Shakur, and Hurricane Katrina.
Dyson has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2007, he has been a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. His 1994 book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X became a New York Times notable book of the year. In his 2006 book Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Dyson analyzes the political and social events in the wake of the catastrophe against the backdrop of an overall “failure in race and class relations”. In 2010, Dyson edited Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic, with contributions based on the album’s tracks by, among others, Kevin Coval, Kyra D. Gaunt (“Professor G”), dream hampton, Marc Lamont Hill, Adam Mansbach, and Mark Anthony Neal. Dyson’s own essay in this anthology, “‘One Love,’ Two Brothers, Three Verses”, argues that the current US penal system disfavors young black males more than any other segment of the population. Dyson hosted a radio show, which aired on Radio One, from January 2006 to February 2007. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio and CNN, and is a regular guest on Real Time with Bill Maher. Beginning July 2011 Michael Eric Dyson became a political analyst for MSNBC.