By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky
As our nation is faced with difficult conversations around race and violence, it’s important for our communities to not only have open and frank conversations with each other but to empower our young people to make meaningful change.
The Paducah-McCracken County NAACP will be hosting author, minister, scholar and media personality Dr. Michael Eric Dyson for a lecture in early November in lieu of the group’s Annual Freedom Fund Banquet.
About Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
Dyson is a New York Times bestselling author and distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University. He has written 24 books including “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America” and his latest “Entertaining Race: Performing Blackness in America” and appeared on shows like NPR’s Morning Edition, Meet the Press and Face the Nation.
The event’s theme is “Truth, Healing, Love and the Power of Youth,” where Dyson will serve as the keynote speaker touching on political and racial injustice and how we can heal as a human race. He will present before announcing the NAACP’s annual scholarship recipients.
What leaders are saying
Local leaders and elected officials look forward to the evening with Dyson and hope his message will leave the community inspired by the opportunity for growth in western Kentucky.
“We’re so proud to host Michael Eric Dyson,” said Jewell Jones, NAACP event chairman. “I think Michael Tyson will open up ears and provide new innovative ideas as to how we move forward as a community.”
Jones said Paducah was actually the perfect fit for Dyson.
“We’re in the far western part of Kentucky and it feels like we’re always forgotten, especially the Black community,” Jones said. “We protested here, we stood up and we spoke here. But however, it seems as if the smaller rural areas are not noticed when they are actually doing the same things as the big cities.”
Jones expects Dyson’s presentation to snatch listeners out of their comfort zones helping the community and the Commonwealth move forward towards growth.
“Michael Dyson will put us on the map,” Jones said.
The NAACP is still in need of sponsors to help fund the special night. If interested in contributing to the event, contact Paducah-McCracken County NAACP President J.W. Cleary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: Paducah Tilghman High School Auditorium
2400 Washington St.
Paducah, KY 42001
When: Sunday, Nov. 14 from 4-6 p.m. CT
Tickets are $30 for general admission and $10 for youth or college students. For more information on the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paducah-naacp-an-evening-with-dr-michael-eric-dyson-tickets-166990082833.