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.
- ISBN-13: 9781439163689
- ISBN-10: 1439163685
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Page Count: 304
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Powell, an activist and writer, has a reputation for being honest to a fault, which is the key asset of his no-holds-barred, disturbing memoir of pushing himself from hard times to achievement. Raised by his single mother in a poor neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., he views his life through the jagged cultural stereotypes assigned to children who have been molded by fatherless families and grinding poverty. This outlook leads to a series of risky situations in school, and his relationships are marred by his destructive behavior and trigger-happy temper. Intelligent and ambitious, Powell runs afoul of the law on several occasions, striking out against authority, social rules, and women, influenced by his mothers statement that hes just like his no-good father. Despite fighting such demons as alcohol and depression, he bravely pushes himself through a Rutgers University education, a controversial stint on MTVs The Real World, campaigns for Congress, and celebrated interviews with hip-hop entertainers and politicians; ultimately, he makes a redemptive trip throughout Africa, where he embraces his manhood and heritage. Powells confessional packs a powerful punch, full of urban realness and raw emotions. (Nov.)