Africana Studies' 26th Annual Black History Month Kick-Off Brunch, set for Saturday, Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. in the UNM SUB ballrooms, is the culminating event in the year-long reflection of 40 years of the UNM Africana Studies Program. Events centered around the theme, "Forty Years Wandering in the Academic Desert: Does Anyone See the Promised Land?". "Hip Hop Professor" Michael Eric Dyson is the featured brunch speaker.

Dyson, best-selling author, scholar, and cultural critic, addresses the theme in a discussion of equality and race issues in America. Dyson's pioneering scholarship helped establish the field of Black American cultural studies and his books cover every aspect of Black thought. His works include: Holler if You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur; New York Times bestseller Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?; and Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster.

His fearless and fiery oratory has electrified audiences in classrooms, prisons, political conventions, churches and lecture stages across the world. He has appeared on the The Today Show, Nightline, O'Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Dyson has taught at several universities including Brown University, Columbia University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University.

Tickets for the brunch are $25 and are available at unmtickets.com or by calling the UNM Ticket Office at 505-925-5858 or toll free at 877-664-8661. Table sales are available. Contact Alfred Mathewson for details.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu