Michael Eric Dyson is a globally renowned scholar of race, religion, and contemporary culture, and as of 2021, joined the Vanderbilt faculty as Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora in the College of Arts as Sciences and University Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society in the Divinity School. An ordained minister for over 30 years, Dyson is also a prominent political commentator across several national media outlets, a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times, and serves as contributing editor at The New Republic and The Undefeated, a website from ESPN. In addition, he has authored 17 books, including The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America (2016), and has won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-Fiction as well as the American Book Award. He has been celebrated as one of the nation’s most visible public intellectuals, named by Essence as one of the 40 most inspiring African Americans and by Ebony as among the 100 most influential black Americans. Dyson met President Obama for the first time in the early 1990s on a black history panel at Hamburg University, and both were members of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Once a vocal supporter of Obama, Dyson grew slightly disillusioned with what he described as the president’s “timid” response to racial politics while in office.
“All of us should be much more humble and contrite when we point the finger at somebody else, because four more fingers are pointing back at us.” Michael Eric Dyson