Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Smith is both urgent and hilarious as he goes from Dave Chapelle to Lebron James, male masculinity to the role of the strong black woman deserving more respect. He speaks about mental illness and LGBTQ rights, subjects generally considered taboo in the black community. But he has the strength and knowledge to raise the discussion about these topics, and makes you want to hear more. Invisible Manalso has a thread running throughout about the horrors and struggles of constantly seeing our young black men and women killed by the authorities sworn to protect us. He is yet another amazing voice that is speaking up. And he needs to be heard.

— From Allen


New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
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.

About the Author

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Knobler Fellow at the Nation Institute and a contributing writer for the Nation magazine. He has also written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon,, The Guardian, The Root, theGrio, ThinkProgress, and Huffington Post, and he has been a featured commentator on NPR, BBC radio, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, HuffPost Live, and a number of other radio and television programs.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781568589770
ISBN-10: 1568589778
Publisher: Nation Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Pages: 240
Language: English