It’s Monday morning at Georgetown University, and Michael Eric Dyson is on Page 176 of “Decoded,” the memoir of rap superstar Jay-Z.
Pacing the classroom in his boxy, Hoya-blue suit, the sociology professor pushes his glasses up his nose and dives into the rapper’s musings on race and self-image: “Jay-Z is speaking about the imagistic conception of blackness that is evoked in a white world thinking about black culture.”
Students crammed into Dyson’s classroom jot this idea into their spiral notebooks, click-clack it into their laptops. It’s one of countless bullet points that cascade from the professor’s mind during what has become one of the most popular courses on campus — SOCI-124-01 or “Sociology of Hip-Hop — Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z.” It might be the only Georgetown course ever discussed on MTV.
Read the full story from the front page of today’s Style section and watch a video with Michael Eric Dyson above.