KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MK ASANTE
MK will be the opening Keynote Speaker for the 2016 conference. A dynamic, powerful speaker, MK will talk about his experience in a small school and how it set him on his path to become who he is today.
MK Asante is a bestselling author, award-winning filmmaker, rapper, and professor who CNN calls “a master storyteller and major creative force.”
Asante is the author of four books, including Buck: A Memoir, which was praised by Maya Angelou as “A story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style.” Buck made the Washington Post bestseller list in 2014 and 2015 and is a NAACP Image Award finalist.
Asante is a Sundance™ Feature Film Fellow for the movie adaptation of Buck. He directed the prize-winning Starz TV documentary The Black Candle and wrote/produced 500 Years Later, winner of five international film festival awards.
Asante studied at the University of London, earned a B.A. from Lafayette College, and an M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Asante has given distinguished lectures at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, as well as hundreds of other universities. He has toured in over 40 countries and was awarded the Key to the City of Dallas, Texas.
Called “the voice of a new generation” by Essence, he has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NBC News, BBC, Revolt, NPR, BET, The Breakfast Club, and MTV. He was selected as “100 History Makers in the Making” by MSNBC The Grio and his inspirational story “The Blank Page” is featured in the #1 New York Times bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition. Asante’s essays have been published inUSA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times.
Described by Vibe magazine as “brilliantly complex,” Asante is a rap artist who has performed on 4 continents. He is featured on the song “Bangers” on the album Indie 500 by Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder.
Asante is a tenured professor of creative writing and film in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University.