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BC to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Feb. 5

Michael Eric Dyson

Although the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., is Jan. 21, Bridgewater College will celebrate the day and King's legacy again on Feb. 5 when best-selling author and cultural critic Michael Eric Dyson speaks in Cole Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Dyson, an American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner, is one of the nation's most influential and renowned public intellectuals. Described by a Washington Post reporter as "a Princeton Ph.D. and a child of the streets who takes pains never to separate the two," Dyson has been named one of the 150 most influential African Americans by Ebony magazine.

Dyson is the author or editor of 18 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Marvin Gay and Bill Cosby. He has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chicago Theological Seminary, University of Pennsylvania, Brown University and DePaul University. He has been a professor of sociology at Georgetown University since 2007 and also serves as a political analyst for MSNBC.

"King was one of the greatest patriots this nation has produced," said Dyson. "He proved it by giving his life in a fight to defend this country's best side against its worst."

 Dyson's appearance at Bridgewater College is part of the college's annual Martin Luther King Celebration, which is held after his official birthday observation so that all staff and students – some of whom are absent from campus in January – may participate.

"Dr. King's legacy is one that should be embraced, celebrated and actualized each day of the year by all Americans," said Stephanie Wilson, director of multicultural services at Bridgewater. "I know it is a lofty ideal, but it's one worth pursuing, that all of humanity should be recognized, appreciated and embraced."

Wilson said it is imperative that people, in the words of King, "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Dyson's lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Lecture Series and the Center for Cultural Engagement at Bridgewater College.

Posted 1/17/13

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