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Real Talk About Fighting Hate & Identity Politics With The Truth

(Akron, OH) – Dr. Michael Eric Dyson brought his “Real Talk” about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, criticism of Book Banning, and focusing on listening to our youths.

            A standing room only crowd braved sub degree temperatures filling the Akron Summit County Public Library to hear this dynamic intellectual  speaker at the Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr Lecture on Sunday, January14, 2024.


Dr. Dyson-  a Distinguished University Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, College of Arts & Science; and Distinguished University Professor of Ethics and Society, The Divinity School; and NEH Centennial Chair at Vanderbilt University - called for us to fight the history of hate with the truth.


“Dr King was a great man,” said the author of "I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.,"-  first book that probed the civil rights icon’s radical dimensions. He harshly criticized those who, “use Dr. King’s remarks as justification for their  far right radical ideals. “Time to go to the library to learn Dr. King’s real message, ‘said the Detroit native who has been a supporter of libraries and free speech.

He has an impressive career as an academic, author of 25 books on black icons and culture, ordained minister, and radio/TV host. Using Hip Hop/Cultural, he kept the library audience informed and entertained with his insights in the news.

An example of misinformation, Dr Dyson explained that white folks use identity politics and rage against CRT but they don’t know the difference between “CRT”  and” OPP.”

Students need to know their history. This new trend of parents banning books because they don’t want to show where they went wrong is wrong.  “Libraries are the archives of the collective wisdom of the world.”

            Dr. Dyson expressed his concern about women and young people citing… “ old white men should not mess with decision about what women can do about their bodies.” “Women rights must be celebrated.

            Young people face tremendous challenges in the digital world.  Facing bullying, violence, agony and pain, the media is dehumanizing black people in the mind of our youths. Do not surrender your culture. Too much of our contribution to the arts like Jazz and R & B  were ignored and taken from us.

“We must nurture (young people) before[B1]  we teach them,” Dr Dyson urged. “Be sensitive to our young people.”

The Eta Tau Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc has been hosting the Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Lecture at the Akron Summit County Library since 1985. Charles Parnell- chapter chair acknowledged the Akron Alpha Homes contribution to hosting this annual lecture along with its one million dollars in scholarships and community grants.”

Malcolm Costa- CEO of the Akron Summit Community Action Agency was presented the 2024 Dr. King Recognition Award during the lecture.

Special remarks were given by Akron Mayor Shammas. Malik, Angela Nealy- Library Trustee Board president, Latoya Harris- adm aide for Summit County Executive, and Library Executive Director Pam  Hickson-Stevenson.


The Reporter Newspaper
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