MK Asante’s work has been described by Maya Angelou as “thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style,” and by CNN as “a master storyteller and major creative force.” His work epitomizes the idea of ‘local to global’—his bestselling memoir, Buck, is about his rise from a rebellious teen on the streets of Philly to an internationally-acclaimed artist.
Asante, a decorated writer, professor, filmmaker, and rapper, will draw from his personal life experiences to discuss the redemptive power of art and education, inspiring audiences to shatter boundaries on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. in Zimmerman Recital Hall in the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery. His visit is part of the College’s 2015–2016 Colloquium series, “Local Meets Global.” This marks Asante’s second speaking engagement at The Valley, as he participated in Unity Week in February 2014.
After an unconventional education on the streets of Philadelphia, Asante enrolled in the Crefeld School where he found his talent as a writer. From there, Asante studied film and literature at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies; earned a B.A. in American studies and English from Lafayette College; and an M.F.A. in screenwriting from UCLA School of Theater Film and Television. After joining the faculty of Morgan State University at 23 and receiving tenure at 26, he currently serves as an associate professor of creative writing and film.
Asante is the author of four other books and poetry collections, which received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and made the Washington Post bestseller list in 2014 and 2015. He has given lectures at several distinguished universities such as Harvard and Yale and his essays have been published in the Huffington Post and the New York Times.
The Colloquium Series is a year-long integrated series of keynote presentations, guest speakers, films, and academic courses. The 2015-2016 series is dedicated to the issue of “Local Meets Global” and asks individuals to consider their place in the world as a global citizen and part of a larger whole while remaining in any one locale as a singular being. The goal of the 2015-2016 Colloquium Series is to encourage these encounters, to test and reshape their limits, and to challenge us all to become world-ready local actors and global citizens.