Black History and Buck

First off, I need to keep this post brief. Procrastination is a silent killer. Enough said.  One of the things that I like to do in the month of February is to go to an event for Black History Month. Definitely easier said than done. At least out here where I live. Finding quality events that fit my schedule but also are interesting and don’t waste my time is something that I try to do. Last year, I went to a spoken word event and it was pretty decent. The best part was that it was only ten minutes away from my house. But I digress. While by no means am I someone who is qualified to give “the black perspective,” as I was often called upon in graduate school to do, I do think that there are certain challenges that come with being black in America. I’m going to make a quick detour and say that I really strongly dislike the term “African American.” It’s annoying. And quite frankly, I’m not from Africa and neither are my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. I have some theories about how this term is used as a social construct but that’s totally not the topic at hand. There are certain rare occasions where I get the opportunity to listen to a speaker that is genuine, engaging, young, ambitious, articulate, and has exceptional communication skills. MK Asante is one of those people. He’s one of the best speakers I’ve heard because he has the ability to paint exquisite skillful pictures with words. And he does it in a way that has the right combination of his education and life experiences that give him the ability to relate to his audience. The fact that he became a college professor at age 23 and is now tenured is amazing.  Needless to say, it was great listening to him today. I bought his book, “Buck” and read it cover to cover in about two hours. I’m not easily impressed with books but after reading it I can honestly say that it’s one of the best memoirs that I’ve read. An honest depiction of the good, bad and ugly with moments of vulnerability and raw emotion is what makes this book so good. This book draws you in and keeps your attention because Asante walks you through his life in such a way that makes you feel as if you’re not only a silent observer, but that you have an invested interest in his success. Definitely a great read that was made even better by hearing the writer before I read the book.

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