By Ky Books: The Education of Kevin Powell

IMG_3677.JPGThe Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. I purchased this book after attending a Kevin Powell event hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Kevin Powell addressed the issues I cared about during his discussion ranging from Black Lives Matter, to why it’s important for text books to reflect the contributions that women make in society. He did so in such an enlightened way but I can’t ignore how calm and cool his mannerisms are.He touched on his childhood a little bit, having to live in poverty for most of his life. But to have come from such humble beginnings to being the powerhouse that he is today, I was curious to see what his memoir was all about.

I’ve read many memoirs by woman but I’ve never read the memoir of a man besides Malcom X Autobiography so this was new territory for me. Yet, I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Kevin Powell takes you on a journey of his life from the beginning, as a boy abandoned by his father and completely dependent on his unaffectionate mother. His trajectory into becoming a man was filled with many ups and downs but he is now a successful man and uses his mistakes to help other young men in his same predicament. I loved Part II of this book most because it talks about his life in college as an outspoken student activist and also as a journalist for Vibe Magazine, where he received the opportunity to shadow Tupac Shakur . Kevin Powell was great friends with Sister Souljah and was also on the first season of the Real World which he discusses in this book.

If you’re interested in reading more memoirs, this book is a real treat. A lot of hip hop references and childhood nostalgia will be triggered while reading this.

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Celebrating Black History

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It all happened pretty quickly. On Jan 9th, I talked casually to my friend about the state of being black in America. We addressed everything from slavery, to affirmative action, to the downfall of Bill Cosby. As black women we have to think about these issues through two lenses, race and gender. The intersectionality of race and gender is what the intellectuals in academia call it. The following week, I went to see Kevin Powell speak at the Brooklyn Historical Society and was enamored by his thought-provoking conversation. I was also very proud that he spoke about the same things my friend and I talked about just the week before. From there, I decided to delve further into my knowledge of black history. Not that I don’t know enough as it is (I know enough to make my little mind go insane), but I wanted to dive just a little deeper. So I took the plunge. I spent the last few weeks, reading, writing, watching, and conversing about black history and the current state of black men and women in America. It was then that I understood how important the conversation is to have.

This February is going to be very significant for the Lifestyle By Ky Blog. It marks the start of Black History Month, a special month filled with pride and remembrance of what my ancestors did for you and I so we could have a better life. From enduring the harsh ramifications of slavery to the senseless violence of the Civil Rights era, they sacrificed for us so we could have the freedoms that we enjoy today and will continue to build on in the future. Continue reading “Celebrating Black History”