Date and Time
Sep 24, 2023 5:00 pm
14th & V
In this honest and welcoming book, diversity and inclusion expert, professor, and award-winning speaker Dr. Omekongo Dibinga argues that we must embark on a massive undertaking to re-educate ourselves on the stereotypes that have proven harmful, and too often deadly, to the Black community. Through personal anecdotes, nuanced historical inquiry, and engaging analysis of modern-day events and their historical context and implications, this invaluable guide will break down some of the most powerful lies told about Black people. Whether those lies are pernicious, like the idea that “most black people are criminals,” or seemingly innocuous, like the notion that “black people can’t swim,” all of the lies and stereotypes combatted in this book are rooted in hate and continue to undermine not only Black people in America, but our society as a whole. Beyond combatting these harmful lies, Dr. Dibinga also provides readers with powerful insights on our racial vocabulary, reflective hands-on exercises that will allow readers to confront and change their own biases, and an honest discussion about how to move beyond misplaced shame and use privilege to serve others.
Featuring personal surveys alongside real-life interviews with those who have been affected by racial biases first-hand, this open and thoughtful guide will lead readers on a path to understanding, action, and change.
Dr. Omékongo Dibinga is joining us on the Busboys stage to dismantle the lies and stereotypes typically associated with Black people in America. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during and after the event, and the author will be signing following the program.
This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of LIES ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE will be available for purchase before and after the event. Please note that this event is IN PERSON and will NOT be livestreamed.
We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books
Dr. Omékongo Dibinga, CSP, is the UPstander. His life’s mission is to inspire all across the globe to take a stand when they witness an injustice, no matter how small or large. A John Maxwell Team “Top 30 speaker”, he is an international speaker, trilingual poet, TV talk show host, rapper, and professor of Inter-cultural Communication at American University, where he also serves as a faculty affiliate to the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. His podcast, “The UPstander’s Podcast” was rated a top 20 “must follow” social justice podcast for 2022. His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book, From the Limbs of My Poetree was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” His latest book, Lies about Black People: how to combat racist stereotypes and why it matters (Prometheus Press, foreword by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson), has received praise from notable leaders from Dr. Joe Madison and Roland Martin to Dr. Shirley Davis and Ayo Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
Omékongo was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award.” He has received over 1,000,000 views on CNN.com. He is a weekly contributor to the “Roland Martin Unfiltered” show as well as a regular contributor to i24 News based in Israel. Omékongo’s writings and performances have appeared in O Magazine, as well as on TV and radio from CNN, BET, and the BBC to NPR, Music Choice, and Voice of America in millions of homes in over 150 countries. He has also written songs for major motion pictures as well as organizations such as NASA and the Enough! Project. He has spoken at the United Nations, partners with the State Department to conduct leadership trainings overseas, and speaks to corporate, government, and educational organizations across the country on issues centered on leadership, antiracism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Omékongo’s music and writings have appeared alongside artists such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, Norah Jones, Damien Rice, Angelique Kidjo, Don Cheadle, and Yassine Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). He has shared the stage with Jane Fonda, Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, OutKast, Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets, and NFL great Aaron Rodgers. Internationally, he has shared his work in over 20 countries on 3 continents.
Omékongo has studied at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Georgetown, Morehouse, and The Fletcher School, where he earned his M.A. in Law & Diplomacy. He earned his Ph.D. in International Education Policy at The University of Maryland (UMD) where his dissertation centered on the global hip-hop phenomenon and JAY-Z. At UMD, he also worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Diverse Students Initiative.” Across the country he has worked with school districts on culturally relevant instruction including Washington DC, Texas, New York, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts, and California. He worked for four years as the lead Teaching Assistant to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Georgetown University. He provides leadership, educational and diversity empowerment as a consultant and motivational speaker for organizations, associations and institutions.
Omékongo has featured/lectured nationwide in venues from TEDx and Harvard to Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit and the Nuyorican Poets Café. His rap mixtape series “Bootleg” promotes positive hip-hop with remixes of songs by Tupac, Notorious BIG, JAY-Z, Nas, 50 Cent, and others. His 1,000,000 Youth Campaign has directly impacted youth across the globe. He has also partnered with Intel on its campaign to make their computer processors free of minerals that come from the war in the Congo.
Omékongo has published and produced several other books and musical albums, as well as an independent DVD. His motivational book G.R.O.W. Towards Your Greatness! 10 Steps to Living Your Best Life has received praise from great motivational speakers such as Les Brown who wrote the foreword and Willie Jolley. His book “The UPstander’s Guide to an Outstanding Life” is a life balance book for students. For more information, please visit http://www.upstanderinternational.com or follow @omekongo on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.