Activist Kevin Powell speaks to FAMU students

Courtesy of Taylor Bishop

Eager students piled inside Florida A&M University’s Grand Ballroom Tuesday to receive successful tips from world-renowned writer, activist and public speaker Kevin Powell.  

Kevin is a native of Jersey City, N.J. raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund.

Kevin has gone on to be the author of 12 books, including his newest title, “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood.” 

“The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood” describes his education and family upbringing. The book also touched on how his mother pushed him for success and to attend college.  

Powell stressed the importance of remembering your roots and having a sense of humility.

“Never forget where you come from and understand humility and helping your fellow brother,” Powell said.

During Tuesday evening’s event, Powell shared how it has been a hectic week visiting all the major top Florida universities. He even mentioned receiving a hefty speeding ticket while traveling to Bethune-Cookman University before attending tonight’s event.

Powell touched on how he has been an activist for more than 30 years now.  

“The millennial generation are geniuses,” Powell said.

Powell encouraged students to engage in discussions. He also touched on understanding the challenges that are happening in this country right now.

Powell spoke on relevant topics in the media regarding the Beyoncé’s “Formation” song and Super Bowl halftime performance and Kendrick Lamar’s performance at this year’s Grammy awards.

“This is when white people realized Beyoncé is black! Stay Woke,” Powell said.

Powell described “staying woke” as not just voting during election season, but staying up-to-date on what is happening in the world year round.

Gentry Redmond, fourth-year FAMU informational technology student, said Powell’s speech was very inspirational.

“I wish more college students came out to be more enlightened like I was. He touched on all aspects of what black people need to be thinking about and doing,” Redmond said.

Numerous students lined up to ask Powell questions from his life struggles to his recent book. The conversation wrapped up with Powell signing books and taking pictures with students.

Keith Myles, Powell’s fraternity brother of Alpha Phi Alpha and FAMU’s radio professor, said Powell dropped a lot of knowledge. 

“He spoke from the heart, but also told FAMU students what they needed to hear and that they control their own destiny,” Myles said.

To purchase Kevin Powell’s newest book visit his website