How do you learn to be a black man in America? For young black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean. In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years, describing his efforts to come into his own in a world that denied his humanity. Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren't considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent-for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting.
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"Grappling with what Barack Obama's presidency means for racial progress, Smith delves into his own education, awakening, and reawakening as he recounts his own stumbling through the fun-house- mirror hall that is race and white supremacy in the United States. Narrator Kevin Free's soft but emotionally engaged voice captures Smith's prose perfectly. It aligns well with Smith's journey from teenager to adult, communicating both the youthful disposition and the sense of things still to be learned that emanate from Smith's prose. Free maintains a good cadence and uses effective emphasis throughout. He especially shines as Smith grapples with reevaluating his sense of black identity in relation to its intersection with other identities revolving around gender, mental health, and class. L.E. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine"
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