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Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

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Video: Michael Eric Dyson keynote speech excerpt


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Michael Eric Dyson, a prominent sociologist at Georgetown University, gave one of three keynote speeches at Princeton's "Coming Back and Moving Forward" black alumni conference, which took place Oct. 22-24. Dyson read from his forthcoming book "Presidential Race: Barack Obama and Blackness in America," which analyzes the decisions President Barack Obama made handling race during the campaign. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

Michael Eric Dyson:
It's easy to stencil Obama's face next to King's on a white T-shirt.

Michael Eric Dyson:
But the shedding of blood and the blood-stained banner

Michael Eric Dyson:
that King held high as a private citizen in America, who died before he was 39 --

Michael Eric Dyson:
be careful before you transmit the value of that life

Michael Eric Dyson:
to a man who has now become the president,

Michael Eric Dyson:
and which means historically the enemy of the best interests

Michael Eric Dyson:
historically of African people in America.

Michael Eric Dyson:
So, now, what we've got to do is figure out

Michael Eric Dyson:
when the power and the empire has a black face, how do we negotiate the tensions

Michael Eric Dyson:
and the critical tensions that exist between our love and adoration of him

Michael Eric Dyson:
and our seeing him fulfilling a certain job.

Michael Eric Dyson:
So now that, now that Moses is Pharaoh, now that David has become Goliath,

Michael Eric Dyson:
we must shift our perspectives and begin to demand an accounting of Mr. Obama.

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