A discussion of MK Asante's memoir that recounts his rie from the streets.
MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in Black Studies. A little more than a decade later MK found himself alone in North Philadelphia—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.
A teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of Killadelphia, Asante sought refuge in the poetry of hip-hop giants—from Tupac, to Jay-Z, to Nas—and later, in the words of Kerouac, Whitman, Orwell, and even the diary of his own mother. BUCK: A Memoir is the unforgettable story of MK Asante’s rise from dealer and delinquent to writer, filmmaker, poet, and professor. It is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself with the most unconventional of teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper.
BUCK is a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and literature to heal the broken pieces that exist inside all of us. A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family, BUCK is the riveting story of a generation—told through Asante’s dazzlingly poetic voice. The Philadelphia Inquirer called Asante “a rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance.”