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A rebellious boy’s journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family—this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice.
MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation’s dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia. Now he was alone—his mother in a mental hospital, his father gone, his older brother locked up in a prison on the other side of the country—and forced to find his own way to survive physically, mentally, and spiritually, by any means necessary.
Buck is a powerful memoir of how a precocious kid educated himself through the most unconventional teachers—outlaws and eccentrics, rappers and mystic strangers, ghetto philosophers and strippers, and, eventually, an alternative school that transformed his life with a single blank sheet of paper. It’s a one-of-a-kind story about finding your purpose in life, and an inspiring tribute to the power of education, art, and love to heal and redeem us.
Praise for Buck
“A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.”—Maya Angelou
“Buck takes the daily words of the American streets and forges something low and lovely. Angry, profane, and beautiful, it honors the best of hip-hop’s literary canon by producing a work worthy of inclusion.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of The Beautiful Struggle
“Buck sings a song that will force all of America to face what it has become and remember what it could be.”—Eddie Huang, author of Fresh off the Boat