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MK Asante  

Author, Filmmaker and Professor

MK Asante is a bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, rapper, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.”

Asante is the author of the acclaimed memoir Buck, described by Maya Angelou as “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.” Buck made the Washington Post bestseller list in 2014 and 2015 and is a NAACP Image Award finalist. His other books are It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop, Beautiful. And Ugly Too, and Like Water Running Off My Back.

Asante is a Sundance™ Feature Film Fellow for the movie adaptation of Buck. He directed the prize-winning Starz TV documentary The Black Candle and wrote/produced 500 Years Later, winner of five international film festival awards.

Asante studied at the University of London, earned a B.A. from Lafayette College, and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.

Asante has given distinguished lectures at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, as well as hundreds of other universities. He has toured in over 40 countries and was awarded the Key to the City of Dallas, Texas.

Called “the voice of a new generation” by Essence, he has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NBC News, BBC, Revolt, NPR, BET, The Breakfast Club, and MTV. He was selected as “100 History Makers in the Making” by MSNBC The Grio and his inspirational story “The Blank Page” is featured in the #1 New York Times bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition. Asante’s essays have been published in USA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times.

Described by Vibe magazine as “brilliantly complex,” Asante is a rap artist who has performed on four continents. His debut music project, the Buck: Original Book Soundtrack, was described by Okayplayer as “one of the most moving and visually brilliant rap projects to land in quite some time.”

Asante is a tenured professor of creative writing and film in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University.

Speech Topics


How a Blank Page Became BUCK

MK Asante illuminates the stories behind his memoir: an unforgettable coming-of-age story about one brilliant, rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of contemporary urban America, and how he overcame the odds he was born into. Drawing on his own life, Asante inspires audiences to seek out the healing, redemptive power of art, education and personal inspiration.

It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop

Inspired by his book of the same name, MK Asante explores the role hip-hop plays in today’s culture. Drawing on insightful anecdotes, rap lyrics, and personal conversations with hip hop icons and youth around the world, MK Asante dives into the urgent social and political issues surrounding the past, present and future of the subculture.

It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop

Inspired by his book of the same name, MK Asante explores the role hip-hop plays in today’s culture. Drawing on insightful anecdotes, rap lyrics, and personal conversations with hip hop icons and youth around the world, MK Asante dives into the urgent social and political issues surrounding the past, present and future of the subculture.

Fade to Black: Camera as a Weapon

As professor of film at Morgan State University and an expert for the State Department’s American Documentary Showcase, MK Asante discusses independent filmmaking and his travels throughout Africa training filmmakers and shooting footage. This lecture includes highlights of his film, The Black Candle (2008), co-written and narrated by Maya Angelou.

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