A hopeful and insightful collection by one of the great voices of our time.
“The Kevin Powell Reader is an electric and deeply inspiring selection from Powell’s lifework, spanning the Reagan-Bush years of AIDS and crack epidemics to our current era framed by the COVID-19 pandemic; the tragic killing of George Floyd; the #MeToo movement; and much more.” —Essence
Kevin Powell is one of the most prolific and acclaimed American writers, thinkers, activists, and public speakers of the past three decades. His writings are important contributions to our national conversations on race, gender, class, politics, pop culture, celebrity, hip-hop, and the past, present, and future of the United States.
The Kevin Powell Reader is an electric and deeply inspiring selection from Powell’s lifework, spanning the Reagan-Bush years of AIDS and crack epidemics to our current era framed by the COVID-19 pandemic; the tragic killing of George Floyd; the #MeToo movement; and much more. In a journey that has produced fifteen books, countless cover stories, hundreds of published pieces, and definitive writings on iconic figures like Stacey Abrams, Dave Chappelle, Kerry Washington, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Tupac Shakur, Aretha Franklin, and Kendrick Lamar, Powell is a voice for our times, and a voice that is timeless.
This collection also tracks Powell’s personal struggles and his unwavering honesty about himself and the world around him. The Kevin Powell Reader captures twenty-first-century America with hope, insight, and the urgent need to preserve freedom and justice for all people.
About the Author
Kevin Powell is a poet, journalist, essayist/blogger, public speaker, civil and human rights activist, filmmaker, and the author of fifteen previous books, including a new poetry collection, Grocery Shopping with My Mother. His next book will be a biography of Tupac Shakur. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Powell lives and thrives in New York City, in the borough of Brooklyn. His latest work is The Kevin Powell Reader.
Powell says he leaves it to others to decide what of his work is valuable, The Kevin Powell Reader in itself is a testament to so many who have changed the landscape of our culture and created pathways for future generations to continue the journey, in which he himself is included. ‘Back in the 1990s, I was as young as the folks I was documenting, be it Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu,’ he says. ‘It was all happening really hard and fast, and I did not fully appreciate what was being documented until many years later. I feel very lucky to have seen so much, and to still be here and to have captured so much with words.’
[Powell] has consistently published candid nonfiction political books, memoirs, and collections of poetry and essays . . . This comprehensive anthology of the writer’s selections of his most important pieces is essential to aspiring writers and readers interested viewing Black life through a vast and diverse lens.
— Amsterdam News
This latest read is a collection of essays, interviews, blog posts, poems and more from the past few decades of his writing career. The book, which was released on Apr. 4 from Akashic Books, also includes Powell’s account of the COVID pandemic and George Floyd’s untimely death and the following protests.
— Dallas Weekly