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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kevin Powell For Congress?

** NOTE: Political enthusiast and friend of Social Angst, Gardy V. Guerrier of GVG Image Consultants, inspired this post. He was nice enough to send the Social Angst Family a special invitation to a Kevin Powell fundraiser taking place tomorrow September 4th at The Madison. Please see his invitation and the event flyer below.

**ALSO NOTE: The following post is NOT a political endorsement by Social Angst. Instead it is an introduction to a candidate - the good, the bad, the reformed. My hope is that you'll be interested enough to do some digging yourself.

You may not know it, but this ^ (above) is Kevin Powell. So is this:

Kevin Powell is currently vying for a seat the United States Congress, his second attempt at a congressional seat in two years (he lost in 2006). This time around he hopes to unseat Edolphus Town, the current Representative of the 10th District of Brooklyn. To some, Powell might seem a curious candidate. His bio is something of a smorgasbord; according to Wikipedia, Powell appeared in the premier season of the MTV reality series "The Real World," worked as a senior writer for Vibe Magazine, produced programming for HBO and BET, authored several books, penned a screenplay and scribed an award winning documentary.

He is also an activist. From

Powell is one of the most prominent voices in the hiphop generation, and he has organized a number of concerts, mc battles, rallies, and forums that stress the use of hiphop as a tool for social change; he has become a very outspoken critic of violence against women and girls, and he has been at the forefront of the movement to redefine American manhood away from sexism and violence; Powell plays a key role in the Black male development arena, having produced, the past few years, among other things, a national State of Black Men Tour, numerous Black male think tank sessions, and the still evolving The Black Male Project; Powell has taught, mentored, and counseled in schools, camps, prisons, and on the streets of urban America; he produces an annual holiday party and clothing drive every December in New York City that benefits the needy; and Powell has been a central figure in Gulf Coast disaster relief efforts, facilitating the delivery of goods and services to the affected regions, and being in on long-term rebuilding plans for the region, particularly as it concerns poor people. Kevin Powell’s future political plans include a run for elected office.

Now he has his sights on the political arena.

It has been somewhat difficult for Powell to break the strongholds of old incumbent politics. Some of that is due to the nature of politics itself; some of it is the natural repercussions of a controversial personal history. In his formative years, like many Black men, Kevin Powell had a overtly misogynistic view of women. In an essay entitled "Confessions of a Recovering Misogynist," Powell shamefully accounts a history of acting both physically a verbally abusive towards women in his life:

...I did not bother to try to return to college, and I found myself again using women for money, for sex, for entertainment. When I moved to New York City in August of 1990, my predator mentality was still in full effect. I met a woman, persuaded her to allow me to live with her, and then mentally abused her for nearly a year, cutting off her friends, her peace of mind, her spirit, and eventually pushing her into a bathroom door when she blew up my spot, challenging me and my manhood.

I do not want to recount the details of "the incident" here. What I will say is that I, like most black men I know, have spent much of my life living in fear. Fear of white racism, fear of the circumstances that gave birth to me, fear of walking out my door wondering what humiliation will be mine today. Fear of black women-of their mouths, of their bodies, of their attitudes, of their hurts, of their fear of us black men. I felt fragile, as fragile as a bird with clipped wings, that day my ex-girlfriend stepped up her game and spoke back to me. Nothing in my world, nothing in my self-definition prepared me for dealing with a woman as an equal. My world said women were inferior, that they must at all costs, be put in their place, and my instant reaction was to do that. When it was over, I found myself dripping with sweat, staring at her back as she ran barefoot out of the apartment...

The essay delves into the psyche of a young man trying to come to terms with his own past and how that past projected itself on the women around him. Kevin, perhaps as an act of redemption, continues to write honestly about his former issues, reaching out especially to young men who may suffer from a similar misogynistic mindset. Social Angst has a genuine appreciation for people who realize the errors of their ways, makes valid attempts to correct their behavior, and genuinely seek to stop others from walking down the same destructive path - and we recognize Mr. Kevin Powell as one of those people.

Sources and More Information:
If you would like to learn more about Kevin Powell and his campaign please visit

"On The Campaign Trail With Semi-Celeb Kevin Powell" by Chloe Hillard (A nice perspective by a someone who you might think wouldn't be so objective...she too is a friend of Social Angst)

Kevin Powell on Amazon

Gardy's Invitation
If you do not know it, I am a bit of a politics junkie. As with most election seasons, this one in particular, I'm on constant alert for any news related to campaigns, local and national, and have dragged all four of my TVs into one room, so I can see what all the news stations, pundits, and idiots (Fox News) are saying at once as I read commentary and reports from all my favorite political sites.

This season has been an interesting one for its focus on the "Hip Hop generations" vote, and as with the Ludacris lyrical scandal, the power of our words to effect national politics. Many have tried to garner the votes of this large untapped demographic, most have not done it well; I have however found one man to be an exception to the rule - Kevin Powell. With his series of groundroots events focused on bridging the gap between our culture and our community, he's used our art to bring attention to our needs.

Kevin Powell is running for a congressional seat in my wonderful borough of Brooklyn and is giving you an opportunity tomorrow September 3rd 2008; to not only help him raise funds for his September 9th election date, but to also witness a wonderful event with some Hip Hop Legends. I'll be there, hope you will too.

See attached flyer for details.

Gardy V. Guerrier
GVG Image Consultants

Click Image to Enlare

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