Tuskegee University Lyceum Series


<<Back to Student Engagement Initiatives homepage 

As a part of continuing the institution’s commitment to educating students in an engaging and holistic way, the Tuskegee University Lyceum Series has been revamped. The series kicks off in August and will feature more than a dozen notable headliners that will educate, enlighten and entertain both the university and surrounding communities. 

The series is part of the Student Engagement Initiatives program, which is among the institution’s priorities on Tuskegee University's vision document. The mission of the Lyceum Series is to engage students, faculty, staff, and the greater Tuskegee community. The high caliber features are aimed at enriching the overall education experience for audiences. The expected performers and speakers for the 2015-16 academic year are: 

 AUGUST 2015

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, named by Ebony as one of the 100 most influential black Americans, is the author of 16 books, including “Holler if You Hear Me,” and “I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.” He is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Topic: "Social Justice" | Date: Thursday, August 27, 2015 | Time: 6:00 pm | Place: Chappie James Center Arena


Tasha Smith

Tasha Smith is a multifaceted actress whose work brings style and intensity to the subjects she plays on the big and small screens. She currently stars in the Tyler Perry television series, “FOR BETTER OR WORSE,” on OWN for which she earned an NAACP Image Award nomination as “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.” Smith’s memorable portrayal of ‘Angela,’ in Perry’s box office hits,“WHY DID I GET MARRIED?” and its sequel, “WHY DID I GET MARRIED, TOO?,” alongside Janet Jackson and Jill Scott, sparked the creation of the spin-off series which is focused around her relationship with onscreen husband, ‘Marcus,’ played by Michael Jai White. 

Tasha Smith & the Tasha Smith Actors Workshop | Date: Saturday, October 3, 2015 | Time: 2-4pm | Place: James Center


Dr. Robert J. Norrell

Dr. Robert J. Norrell teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in southern history and graduate courses in recent United States history. He has directed doctoral dissertations on education reform, environmental history, black religion, southern economic history, race relations in housing, and modern southern political history. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Tübingen. A native of Alabama, he earned his B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. In 2009 he published a revisionist biography, Up from History: the Life of Booker T. Washington. In 2005 he published a well-reviewed interpretive synthesis of race relations in the twentieth-century United States, The House I Live In: Race in the American Century.

Date: Monday, November 16, 2015 | Time: 9:00 am | Place: Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center Auditorium  


Angela M. Brown

Angela M. Brown personifies the ideal soprano: sheer vocal power, luxurious finesse; and shimmering, high pianissimos. With a charming personality larger than life, she unites opera, pop, and gospel in one sensational voice. Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida” captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted her onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. While opera is the main catalyst for her career, Brown’s performance experience includes everything from star hostess on stage to producer and creator of “Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View,” an inspired show that has gained international notoriety for bringing opera to the masses in the form of a sassy, yet educational, concert presentation. 

Date: Sunday, December 6, 2015 | Time: 6:30 pm | Place: University Chapel


Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He has written over 20 books and has edited 13. Though he is best known for his classics, “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters,” and for his memoir, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. "His most recent releases, “Black Prophetic Fire” and “Radical King,” were received with critical acclaim.

Date: Monday, January 18, 2016 | Time: 1:00 pm | Place: Chappie James Center Arena


Ilyasah Al-Shabazz

Ilyasah Al-Shabazz is the daughter of Civil Rights Movement icon Malcolm X. She is a community organizer, social activist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed "Growing Up X" (Random House, 2002).She is co-editor with Herb Boyd of "The Diary of Malcolm X" (Third Word Press, 2013), worked with illustrator AG Ford on "The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X" (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and with Kekla Magoon, "X" (Candlewick, 2014). She promotes higher education, interfaith dialogue, and building bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world. She produces The WAKE-UP Tour™, an exclusive youth empowerment program, and participates on international humanitarian delegations. She is the founder of Malcolm X Enterprises and is a trustee for The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

Date: Tuesday, February  2, 2016 | Time: 6:00 pm | Place: Chappie James Center Arena


Frank X Walker

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of eight collections of poetry including, “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers,” winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry; and “Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York,” winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award as well as two new collections, “The Affrilachian Sonnets” and “About Flight.” Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia, and is dedicated to deconstructing and forcing a new definition of what it means to be Appalachian.

Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 | Time: 3:00 pm | Place: Tuskegee University Chapel


Wes Moore

Moore is a decorated United States Army combat veteran, youth advocate and CEO of BridgeEdU, a national initiative focusing on addressing the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the freshman year of college. His New York Times bestselling book, “The Other Wes Moore,” is a story of the importance of individual decisions as well as community support, and Moore’s journey to discover meaning in his work and how he found that meaning in service. USA Today, People Magazine, “Meet the Press,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The View,” MSNBC, and NPR, as well as several others, have featured Moore. He is also the host of “Beyond Belief” on the Oprah Winfrey Network and executive producer and host of “Coming Back with Wes Moore” on PBS.  

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016 | Time: 6:00 pm | Place: Chappie James Center Arena.  Follow Wes on Social Media -- Twitter: wesmoore1, Facebook: www.facebook.com/IAmWesMoore, Instagram: @iamwesmoore. See More at WesMoore.com.


E. Bruce Phillips

E. Bruce Phillips, Jr. has been Assistant Art Professor at Tuskegee University since 2009, where he has exposed a new generation to the history, beauty and centrality of art in our lives. Also, Phillips has been recognized for his contributions to culture by the state and was awarded an Alabama Council for the Arts visual arts fellowship for 2015-16. He is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Art Exhibit Date: Friday, February 26, 2016 | Time: 6:30 pm | Place: Legacy Museum. Phillips will speak in the Bioethics auditorium, then move to the Legacy Museum for the art display. The reception will take place in the hallway of the Legacy Museum.


Dr. Ronald S. McDowell

Dr. Ronald S. McDowell is an acclaimed artist with more than 30 years experience involving public art projects including large scale murals, commemorative statues and coins as well as private collector artwork such as heirloom portraits for a wide range of clients including famous celebrities such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Nelson Mandella, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, and Lionel Richie. McDowell has produced more than 2,000 original works.

Art Exhibit Date: Friday, February 26, 2016 | Time: 6:30 pm | Place: Legacy Museum. McDowell will speak in the Bioethics auditorium, then move to the Legacy Museum for the art display. The reception will take place in the hallway of the Legacy Museum.

 MARCH 2016

 Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Rooted in the African-American experience, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is a culturally diverse contemporary dance company committed to reaching the broadest audience through exceptional performance and arts-integrated education.  

Date: March 16-19, 2016 | Performance Date: March 18, 2016 | Time: 6:30 pm | Place: Logan Hall 
Performance entitled: "Young, Gifted & Black: A Transformative Experience"

 APRIL 2016

Dr. Houston A. Baker, Jr.

Dr. Houston A. Baker, Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He is currently Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English and African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of articles, books, and essays devoted to African American literary criticism and theory. His book, “Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era” received an American Book Award for 2009. His most recent publication is “The Trouble With Post-Blackness” (Columbia University Press, February 2015), which he co-edited with K. Merinda Simmons (University of Alabama). Dr. Baker is the annual Ralph Ellison speaker. 

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 | Time: 3:00 pm | Place: Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center auditorium

 Check back for additional updates...

Follow updates on social media by using #CultureLivesHere

Email: Lyceum@mytu.tuskegee.edu