Powell, an author of 15 books, is one of the most celebrated political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas /PRNewswire/ — Prairie View A&M University announced today the appointment of the highly-regarded poet, journalist, TV personality and author Kevin Powell to serve as its second writer-in-residence of the Toni Morrison Writing Program.

Kevin Powell meets the objective: He studies; he thinks deeply; and he takes a stance on a cornucopia of issues.

Powell has penned articles, essays and blogs for a wide range of newspapers, magazines and major websites. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, CNN.com, The Nation, NPR, ESPN, Essence, Esquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Complex, British GQ, The Guardian, and ESPN.com. Powell worked at Vibe Magazine as a senior writer for many years, interviewing such diverse public figures as Tupac Shakur and General Colin Powell.

Kevin Powell

Powell’s forthcoming books include The Kevin Powell Reader, a collection of his writings, interviews and speeches covering 30 years of his work and a long-awaited biography of Tupac Shakur.

A native of Jersey City, Powell was raised by a single mother in a community stricken with extreme poverty and violence. His life transformed after studying at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund, a program created during the Civil Rights Movement to benefit poor youth. Today, he has lectured, worked and traveled in all 50 American states and five of the world’s seven continents. 

Now in its second year, PVAMU’s Toni Morrison Writing Program continues to flourish under the direction of Provost Emerita Emma Joahanne Thomas-Smith. One of the most celebrated African American poets, Nikki Giovanni, wrapped up her appointment as the program’s inaugural writer-in-residence this spring.

“The Toni Morrison Writing Program’s selection of Kevin Powell as writer-in-residence meets the objective: Powell studies; Powell thinks deeply. He takes a stance on a cornucopia of issues, including, but not limited to, social justice, interpersonal relationships, hip hop culture, and environmentalism, you name it. He challenges a multi-generational audience and issues to them a call to action. Given today’s socio-political climate, nothing could be more timely, especially for HBCU college students for whom the college years are an apprenticeship for thoughtful, meaningful, intentional participation in the change they wish to see,” Thomas-Smith said.

Powell began his appointment on September 1, with his first public lecture scheduled later this month.

About Prairie View A&M University: Designated an institution of “the first class” in the Texas Constitution, Prairie View A&M University is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state. With an established reputation for producing engineers, nurses, and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degree programs through eight colleges and schools. A member of The Texas A&M University System, the university is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research, and service. For more information regarding PVAMU, visit www.pvamu.edu.

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SOURCE Prairie View A&M University