Why I Love Black Women

2015-05-25 09:38

Why I love Black Women is a book authored by Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Professor Dyson teaches Sociology at the Georgetown University in Washington in the United States of America. Dyson is a very active academic and black social activist. In between teaching classes, offering lectures, preaching in churches, marching and protesting the shooting of black folks by cops and speaking at street meetings against police brutality he still has the time to sit down and author books. With Why I love Black Women, initially Dyson wanted to celebrate his successful life by writing a memoir. But the more he deeply thought about the project and considering different angles of his life, what he saw in all his life was Black women. Dyson is a preeminent public intellectual who stirs a provocative discussion on race and diversity. A skilled orator who merges academia and pop culture, he bridges generation gaps in his social activism. In Why I love Black Women Professor Michael Eric Dyson celebrates the strength and beauty of African women, the contribution they have made to humanity. He notes Why I love Black Women ""is an open love letter to Black women everywhere"". He speaks about black mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, aunts and nieces.

Dyson begins the book by relating a particular woman who meant a lot to his upbringing and intellectual development: Mrs James the elementary school teacher at the Wingert Elementary School located in a ghetto in Detroit. He describes her: "I can still see her face: a honey chocolate, pie-shaped visage framed by a shock of dark curls and lit by bright eyes that were lanterns of learning through which her students illuminated for the first time the dark corners of Black history". "'We were black people fighting to free our minds from destructive intellectual bleaching that results when official education seeks to whitewash our story.This lone, lovely determined black woman, this unique fearless teacher, reached deep into my soul and shaped a planet of black imagination that continues to orbit my intellectual universe. Like all those nameless, faceless, often unthanked black women who have taught and continue to teach our children sometimes at the risk to their own physical well being, Mrs James did far more for me and countless of others than she could possible know.

"'We breathed Black, thought Black, saw Black, learned Black, believed Black, and for the times many of us felt Black"' Dyson continues: In our ghetto: We might have been poor. We were often too poor to eat every day, although occasionally a friend from church would leave groceries on our front steps. But our lives were organized around book clubs. Through it all our reading kept us intellectually stimulated"". Dyson was fascinated by Black women writers during the book club meetings. He notes: "'Black women writers have dipped their pens in the blood of ancestors to narrate our tribal grief. But they also have drawn from personal experiences to paint mirrors of self reflection on our collective imagination. Black women writers have in scripted on the world's consciousness the complex and explosive black identity that flows from their souls"'. One author that Dyson enjoyed reading much was Toni Morrison who after he finally met her at Princeton University described her this way: She was strikingly beautiful figure. Her rich golden brown face was centered by a perfectly shaped African nose and anchored by gorgeous lips carved from sweet chocolate hues. Her penetrating eyes fixed in a gaze that was at once cerebral and sensual. Toni was simply sexy. And I saw for myself the appeal. From then on I believed I could fly, and I did fly!

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