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Jay-Z

17 ratings

Summary

This program is read by the author, and includes an introduction written by Pharrell, and read by Nick Cannon. "Dyson's incisive analysis of Jay-Z's brilliance not only offers a brief history of hip-hop's critical place in American culture, but also hints at how we can best move forward." (Questlove) Jay-Z: Made in America is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson’s decade of teaching the work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced, as gifted a wordsmith as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he’s sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he’s been for so long. This audiobook wrestles with the biggest themes of Jay-Z's career, including hustling, and it recognizes the way that he’s always weaved politics into his music, making important statements about race, criminal justice, Black wealth, and social injustice. As he enters his 50s, and to mark his 30 years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at Jay-Z’s career and his role in making this nation what it is today. In many ways, this is Jay-Z’s America as much as it’s Pelosi’s America, or Trump’s America, or Martin Luther King’s America. Jay-Z has given this country a language to think with and words to live by.  PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Available on Audible
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Tears We Cannot Stop

16 ratings

Summary

In the wake of yet another set of police killings of Black men, Michael Eric Dyson wrote a tell-it-straight, no-holds-barred piece for the NYT on Sunday, July 7: "Death in Black and White" (it was updated within a day to acknowledge the killing of police officers in Dallas). The response has been overwhelming. Beyoncé and Isabel Wilkerson tweeted it; JJ Abrams, among many other prominent people, wrote him a long fan letter. The NYT closed the comments section after 2,500 responses, and Dyson has been on NPR, BBC, and CNN nonstop since then.  Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a White woman who asked what she could do for the cause, "Nothing." Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how Black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. As Dyson writes, "At birth you are given a pair of binoculars that see Black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy. Those binoculars are privilege; they are status, regardless of your class. In fact the greatest privilege that exists is for White folk to get stopped by a cop and not end up dead.... The problem is you do not want to know anything different from what you think you know.... You think we have been handed everything because we fought your selfish insistence that the world, all of it - all its resources, all its riches, all its bounty, all its grace - should be yours first and foremost, and if there's anything left, why then we can have some, but only if we ask politely and behave gratefully."  In the tradition of The Fire Next Time (Baldwin), short, emotional, literary, powerful, this is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations need to hear. 

©2017 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
Available on Audible
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What Truth Sounds Like

2 ratings

Summary

This program is read by the author. What Truth Sounds Like is a timely exploration of America's tortured racial politics that continues the conversation from Michael Eric Dyson's New York Times best seller Tears We Cannot Stop.  President Barack Obama: "Everybody who speaks after Michael Eric Dyson pales in comparison."  In 2015, BLM activist Julius Jones confronted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with an urgent query: "What in your heart has changed that's going to change the direction of this country?" "I don't believe you just change hearts", she protested. "I believe you change laws."  The fraught conflict between conscience and politics - between morality and power - in addressing race hardly began with Clinton. An electrifying and traumatic encounter in the '60s crystallized these furious disputes.  In 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf Black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith's relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.  Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry - that the Black folk assembled didn't understand politics, and that they weren't as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy's anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. "I guess if I were in his shoes...I might feel differently about this country." Kennedy set about changing policy - the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.  There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he'd never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for Black dissent in our own time. His belief that Black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys' efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that Black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood. The contributions of Black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy - versus the racial experience of Baldwin - is a cudgel to excoriate Black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate Black interests persists.  This audiobook exists at 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.  

©2018 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
Available on Audible
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Long Time Coming

1 rating

Summary

This program is read by Michael Eric Dyson.  From the New York Times best-selling author of Tears We Cannot Stop, a passionate call to America to finally reckon with race and start the journey to redemption. The night of May 25, 2020 changed America. George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis when a White cop suffocated him. The video of that night’s events went viral, sparking the largest protests in the nation’s history and the sort of social unrest we have not seen since the '60s. While Floyd’s death was certainly the catalyst (heightened by the fact that it occurred during a pandemic whose victims were disproportionately of color), it was in truth the fuse that lit an ever-filling powder keg.  Long Time Coming grapples with the cultural and social forces that have shaped our nation in the brutal crucible of race. In five beautifully argued chapters - each addressed to a Black martyr, from Breonna Taylor to Rev. Clementa Pinckney - Dyson traces the genealogy of anti-Blackness from the slave ship to the street corner where Floyd lost his life - and where America gained its will to confront the ugly truth of systemic racism. Ending with a poignant plea for hope, Dyson’s exciting new book points the way to social redemption. Long Time Coming is a necessary guide to help America finally reckon with race.  A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press  “Antiracist demonstrations have been like love notes to the martyrs of racist terror and anti-Blackness. Michael Eric Dyson writes out these love notes in this powerfully illuminating, heart-wrenching, and enlightening book. Long Time Coming is right on time.” (Ibram X. Kendi, best-selling author of How to Be an Antiracist)  “Crushingly powerful, Long Time Coming is an unfiltered Marlboro of Black pain.” (Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)  "Michael Eric Dyson is one of the nation’s most thoughtful and critical thinkers in social inequality and the demands of justice. Long Time Coming, his latest formidable, compelling book, has much to offer on our nation’s crucial need for racial reckoning and the way forward." (Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy)

©2020 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Length: 4 hrs and 46 mins
Available on Audible
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Holler If You Hear Me

1 rating

Summary

Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971–1996) was an American rap artist, actor, and social activist. More than seventy-five million of his albums have sold worldwide, making him one of the bestselling music artists in the world. Rolling Stone magazine named him the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time. Shakur also gained notoriety for his conflicts with the law and time spent in prison. Most of Tupac’s songs are about growing up amid violence and hardship in ghettos, racism, other social problems, and conflicts with other rappers during the East Coast–West Coast hip-hop rivalry. In September 1996, after attending a boxing match in Las Vegas, Shakur was shot four times and died several days later. Shakur’s double album, All Eyez on Me, is one of the highest-selling rap albums of all time, with more than five million copies of the album sold in the United States alone. A Vibe magazine poll in 2004 rated Shakur “the greatest rapper of all time” as voted by fans. In 2010, he was inducted to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. More than a decade after his murder, Tupac Shakur is even more loved, contested, and celebrated than he was in life. His posthumously released albums, poetry, and motion pictures have catapulted him into the upper echelon of American cultural icons. In Holler If You Hear Me, “hip-hop intellectual” Michael Eric Dyson, acclaimed author of the best-selling Is Bill Cosby Right?, offers a wholly original way of looking at Tupac that will thrill those who already love the artist and enlighten those who want to understand him.

©2001 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2011 Blackstone Publishing, and Urban Audiobooks

Narrator: Cary Hite
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
Available on Audible
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Barack and Joe

1 rating

Summary

A vivid and inspiring account of the "bromance" between Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The extraordinary partnership of Barack Obama and Joe Biden is unique in American history. The two men, their characters and styles sharply contrasting, formed a dynamic working relationship that evolved into a profound friendship. Their affinity was not predestined. Obama and Biden began wary of each other: Obama an impatient freshman disdainful of the Senate's plodding ways; Biden a veteran of the chamber and proud of its traditions. Gradually, they came to respect each other's values and strengths and rode into the White House together in 2008. Side-by-side through two tension-filled terms, they shared the day-to-day joys and struggles of leading the most powerful nation on earth. They accommodated each other's quirks: Biden's famous miscues kept coming, and Obama overlooked them knowing they were insignificant except as media fodder. With his expertise in foreign affairs and legislative matters, Biden took on an unprecedented role as chief adviser to Obama, reshaping the vice presidency. Together, Obama and Biden guided Americans through a range of historic moments: a devastating economic crisis, racial confrontations, war in Afghanistan, and the dawn of same-sex marriage nationwide. They supported each other through highs and lows: Obama provided a welcome shoulder during the illness and death of Biden's son, Beau. As many Americans turn a nostalgic eye toward the Obama presidency, Barack and Joe offers a new look at this administration, its absence of scandal, dedication to truth, and respect for the media. This is the first audiobook to tell the full story of this historic relationship and its substantial impact on the Obama presidency and its legacy.

©2019 Steven Levingston and Michael Eric Dyson (P)2019 Hachette Books

Narrator: Ron Butler
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
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April 4, 1968

Summary

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., the prophet for racial and economic justice in America, was fatally shot. Only hours earlier, he had ended his final public speech by promising that "we as a people will get to the Promised Land."   Now, at the 40th anniversary of King's assassination, acclaimed public intellectual Michael Eric Dyson gives a comprehensive reevaluation of the fate of America, specifically Black America, since that date. Ambitiously and controversially, he investigates the ways in which we as a people have made it to that Promised Land King spoke of, and the many areas in which we still have a long way to go. April 4, 1968 takes a sweeping view of King's death, remembering all the toil, triumph, and tribulation that led to that fateful date while anticipating the ways in which King's legacy will affect the future of the United States.

©2008 Michael Eric Dyson (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Ic.

Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Available on Audible
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After All...

Summary

A haunting memoir of one woman's survival of childhood abuse and neglect. After All… is an inspiring story of how faith and a grandmother's unconditional love gave young Maria the strength to survive a loveless home and, incredibly, showed her the path to forgiveness.  The memoir traces her journey from poverty in rural Portugal to a full and happy life in Canada.  After All… is an inspiration of perseverance, courage and forgiveness. 

©2020 Maria Trautman (P)2020 Maria Trautman

Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
Available on Audible