Public Engagement

General Public

Michael Eric Dyson + Shaun King + Harry Belafonte: Strand @ The New School

Monday, June 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The Auditorium, Room A106, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, The Auditorium 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Strand, in collaboration with The New School, is honored to present Michael Eric Dyson in celebration of his new book, What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America. This book is a follow-up to his bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, and is another timely exploration of America's tortured racial politics.

Following his 2017 bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White AmericaWhat Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America highlights a pivotal moment in America’s recent past. In May, 1963 a leading politician ended up learning more than he had bargained for when he asked America’s then hottest writer, and his friends over for a chat about black America’s rage. RFK walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting livid – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy. Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways. Every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room: disdain for black dissent, the belief that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood, and that they lack hustle and ingenuity. 

In What Truth Sounds Like, Dr. Dyson deftly merges this past and our present to explore the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy – of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. What Truth Sounds Like examines key players today – ranging from Jay-Z to Jordan Peele and LeBron James, from Black Lives Matter to #MeToo, from Ta-Nehisi Coates to Kamala Harris. And he ends with a paean to Wakanda – the all too mythical nation celebrated in “Black Panther”: “If Baldwin and his glorious crew could gather again, they could hardly have a better place to reconvene and let the beautiful momentum of blackness wash over them as they sought to make America truly great. For the first time.”

Join us at the 12th Street Auditorium at The New School as Michael sits down with writer/activist Shaun King and singer/activist Harry Belafonte.

Michael Eric Dyson is one of America’s premier public intellectuals and the author of The New York Times bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop. He occupies the distinguished position of University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and is a contributing editor of The New Republic and ESPN’s The UndefeatedEbony magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans and one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation.

Shaun King is one of the most followed activists in the world. Formerly the Senior Justice Writer at the New York Daily News, he currently serves as a columnist at The Intercept and Writer-in-Residence at Harvard Law School's Fair Punishment Project.

Harry Belafonte is, in addition to a prolific actor and singer, a champion for many social and political causes.

This event is co-sponsored by the Executive Dean's Office of the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School as part of the See Me After Class series. Executive Dean Mary Watson will provide opening remarks.

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions, Author Readings and Discussions


General Public


Writing and Literature, Politics, Policy and Government, Race In The U.S.


Schools of Public Engagement, Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students, Creative Writing Program, Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment


Writing, History, Politics, Social Justice, Race and Ethnicity



Follow the link for details on accessing this event via Stand Bookstore

Additional Details

Option 1: Admission for one (1) and one (1) signed copy of What Truth Sounds Like

Option 2: Admission for two (2) and one (1) signed copy of What Truth Sounds Like

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Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.

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