In the spirit of Piri Thomas' Down These Mean Streets and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, this powerful memoir by writer and activist Kevin Powell vividly recounts the horrific poverty of his youth; his struggles to overcome a legacy of anger, violence, and self-hatred; and his journey to be a man and a voice for others.
Driven by his single mother's dreams for his survival and success, Kevin Powell became the first in his family to attend a university, where he became a student leader keenly aware of widespread social injustice. But the struggle to define himself and break out of poverty continued into adulthood, with traumatic periods of homelessness and despair. As a young star journalist with Vibe magazine, Powell interviewed luminaries such as Tupac Shakur, writing influential chronicles of the evolution of hip-hop from his eyewitness view. Now, with searing honesty, Powell examines his troubled relationships, his appearance on MTV's first season of The Real World, his battles with alcohol and depression, his two campaigns for Congress, and the uplifting trip to Africa that renewed his sense of personal mission. Finally, Powell embarks on a search for the father he never really knew in a redemptive passage from abandonment to self-discovery.
A striking memoir by a child of post-Civil Rights America, The Education of Kevin Powell gives eloquent testimony to the power of the soul to heal.
Kevin Powell paints a picture much like the "Native Son" experience; a dramatic glimpse into a New Jersey childhood; a mother who both beats him and believes in him; but also a road to college and a life of political activism.
Powell himself narrates with stellar, passionate narration. He knows how to tell at story. His attention to detail makes his memories crackling and alive.
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Kevin Powell, I am truly honored to have met you. Your autobiography is a true Testament to the trials associated with growing up as a poor, fatherless black boy in urban America. Your resilience is truly an inspiration to me. I look forward to sharing your story as I continue my work. May God continue to bless and protect you!