The Education of Kevin Powell

A Boy's Journey into Manhood

The Education of Kevin Powell

In the spirit of Piri Thomas’s 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.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439163689 | 
  • October 2015
List Price $26.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Author and activist Kevin Powell and contributors Lasana Omar Hotep, Jeff Johnson, Byron Hurt, Dr. William Jelani Cobb, Ryan Mack, Kendrick B. Nathaniel, and Dr. Andre L. Brown tap into the social and political climate rising in the African American community with this collection of essays for Black males on surviving, living, and winning.

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About the Author

Kevin Powell
Photograph © Kevin Powell

Kevin Powell

Kevin Powell, a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, is the author or editor of eleven previous books. He is a native of Jersey City, New Jersey. Thanks to a college financial aid package, he studied at Rutgers University and has gone on to write for publications such as The Huffington Post, CNN.com, Esquire, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, Vibe, and the Guardian. He is also the president and cofounder of BK Nation, an American organization focused on civil rights, human rights, and equal opportunities for all people. Powell is a proud long-time resident of Brooklyn, New York. Visit www.KevinPowell.net and www.BKNation.org.

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