Writer and Activist Kevin Powell Preps Apple Books Exclusive Release of 'When We Free The World'
As Minneapolis, Minnesota receives the nation's wrath for being the location of the latest, heinous police killing of an innocent Black man, George Floyd, acclaimed writer and activist Kevin Powell is reminded of his own encounters with racism in that Midwest city. In his 14th book When We Free The World, Powell exposes the scarring racism he experienced in Minneapolis in 2018.
In the essay "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," Powell presents a stunning and brutally honest survey of America, yesterday and today, and what he hopes for its future through the window of his own very painful personal trials—as #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, mass shootings, immigration, a global pandemic, and Donald Trump rotate in the background.
The result is a deeply spiritual and emotional reminder of why freedom and justice and equality still remain so elusive for many, in this nation, on this planet. Inspired by the poetic dream montage of Langston Hughes, the prophetic letter sermon of James Baldwin, and Bobby Kennedy's raw and naked eulogy speech for Dr. King, Powell has created a fearless literary and political manifesto that is a townhall meeting for an America seemingly at war with its own soul.
With a passion and sensitivity that few writers of his generation can match, Powell tackles leadership, history, family, community, parenting, education, the legal system, racism, sexism, love, hate, forgiveness, mental health, and violence in all forms. And he challenges readers, from beginning to end, on what that word "freedom" means, or ought to mean, for all human beings.
Perfectly coinciding with Father's Day, When We Free The World includes Powell's impassioned essays "Letter to My Unborn Child" and "A letter to my 9-year-old friend during the coronavirus pandemic." The latter was featured on "Good Morning America," accompanied by an interview with the Brooklyn-based author. An excerpt, "Letter to My Unborn Child," will appear in The New York Times "Parenting" section on Fri., Jun. 19, two days before Father's Day.
"Minnesota, sadly, ironically, is what first inspired this book of mine, two years ago, a very racist experience I had there, so racist that it did major damage to my life. Damage that I am still recovering from, honestly. But there is no way I could have known that George Floyd would get killed in Minnesota, in broad daylight and on videotape, after what I had gone through, leading to national and global protests against racism. There is much about Minnesota in this book, much about the America that is. This book is written from my soul, from my heart, about our country, about the country I want to see, where all people, no matter what their backgrounds or identities, are treated equally, are treated as human beings. The diverse young people on the cover of When We Free The World represents the hope I have, in spite of all: people together, not apart; love, not hate; peace, not violence."
When We Free The World is being released on the heels of Powell penning a string of riveting, major features on COVID-19 and Stacey Abrams' political life and future for The New York Times and The Washington Post Magazine.
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