By Rayna Dean Friday, December 30th, 2011
Kevin Powell, a hip hop journalist, activist, community speaker and politician, has long been one of the more respected writers of his generation. He continued his work into 2011, speaking on panels around the country while continuously providing a conscious voice for the people with his contributions to websites such as the Huffington Post and Black Voices.
When singer Chris Brown had an anger-fueled episode at “Good Morning, America,” Powell published a letter expressing concern and challenging young black men to address anger issues in healthy ways. When it was revealed that DJ Kool Herc was facing health issues with no insurance to pay medical expenses, Powell worked to illustrate the healthcare issues that are faced by many in the hip hop community.
Throughout the year, Powell provided commentary on everything from Ashley’s Judd’s declaration that hip hop supporting ‘rape culture,’ to the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Powell’s interviews with the late, great Tupac Shakur helped define and shape the icon for many hip hop fans—both in the 1990s and beyond. As such, it was appropriate that Afeni Shakur chose Powell to take care of her son’s memoirs and write his official biography.