Michael Eric Dyson Breaks Down What Performing Race Means On 'One Hundred'


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On the latest episode of One Hundred, podcast host Ed Gordon caught up with professor–author Michael Eric Dyson on his latest book, Entertaining Race, Performing Blackness in America, and discussed some of the pressing issues Black America faces, and their historical roots.

"I'm arguing that time on this shore, Black people were forced to entertain white America, that's just what it was," Dyson says in Friday's episode (December 10). "On slave ships, on plantations, in stages of many of makings and then we've been forced to entertain the idea of race," he continued.

"We're out in the park, just trying to have some barbecue and we got to deal with race. Selling some water on the street with our kids, race. Lemonade on the street, race. Going into a coffeeshop, race," Dyson added, noting the sites of many now-viral instances where racism has played a part in Black people's regular activities –– like many of those outrageous "Karen" incidents that circulate social media.

Dyson says that white critics who claim Black people are "obsessed with race" are actually the ones who are obsessed, "because y'all are always reminding us what time it is," he said.

Later in the episode, Dyson revealed part of his conversation with President Joe Biden after speaking among other prominent historians on the issue of race in America.

"He's actually asking questions, because he doesn't think he's the smartest guy in the room," Dyson said of Biden, after he and the scholars finished their presentations.

That type of mindset, Dyson said, is of someone activists "can work with" on policy and other meaningful change.

Check out the latest episode of One Hundred by clicking here.

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