Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith
A Young Black Man's Education

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At a time when Americans seem to shout at each other across every demographic, Smith implores us to listen instead. His straightforward explanation of his experience growing up as a black man in America is worth our urgent attention.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

A New York Times Bestseller

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 Mychal Denzel Smith

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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, Feministing.com, The Guardian, The Root, theGrio, ThinkProgress, and The 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. Syreeta McFadden
 
Published June 14, 2016 by Nation Books. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on May 05 2016

Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Walton Muyumba on Jul 08 2016

Unfortunately, Smith’s vision is incomplete. Aside from several quotations attributed to hooks and Toni Morrison and his naming of a few other black women thinkers, Smith never analyzes the work of any black women artists...Ultimately, “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching” is ambitious, ardent and timely. I admire Smith’s self-awareness...

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by MICHAEL KLEBER-DIGGS on Jun 24 2016

At a time when Americans seem to shout at each other across every demographic, Smith implores us to listen instead. His straightforward explanation of his experience growing up as a black man in America is worth our urgent attention.

Read Full Review of Invisible Man, Got the Whole ... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Walton Muyumba on Jul 08 2016

Ultimately, “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching” is ambitious, ardent and timely. I admire Smith’s self-awareness, his vulnerability and his intelligence in detailing our failures and in encouraging us to dismantle the masculinity myth.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Huda Hassan on Jun 28 2016

Unlike many of his predecessors, he gives a raw recount of a young black man’s life through the framework of black feminism and cultural criticism.

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