M. K. Asante

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M. K. Asante
M. K. Asante at UCLA in 2020
M. K. Asante at UCLA in 2020
BornNovember 3, 1982
Harare, Zimbabwe
OccupationWriter, director, professor, producer, recording artist, CEO
Alma materUCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
University of London, SOAS
Lafayette College
GenreMemoir, creative nonfiction, poetry, hip-hop, African-American literature, documentary
Notable worksBuck: A Memoir; While Black with MK Asante
ParentsMolefi Kete Asante and Kariamu Welsh

M. K. Asante (born November 3, 1982) is an American author, filmmaker, recording artist, and professor. He is the author of the 2013 best-selling memoir Buck.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Asante is the son of scholar Molefi Kete Asante and choreographer Kariamu Welsh.



Cover of Buck: A Memoir (Random House) by MK Asante

Asante is the author of four books, most notably Buck (2013), a memoir about his troubled youth in Philadelphia. Buck was selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and made the Washington Post bestseller list in 2014 and 2015.[3][4] Poet Maya Angelou, who mentored Asante, described Buck as "a story of surviving and thriving with passion, compassion, wit, and style."[5]


Asante is a Sundance Institute Feature Film Fellow for the movie adaptation of his memoir Buck. Asante wrote and produced the 2005 documentary 500 Years Later, a documentary about slavery which received the Breaking the Chains Award from UNESCO. Asante directed and produced The Black Candle (2012), a documentary about Kwanzaa, co-written and narrated by Maya Angelou.

Lectures and essays[edit]

Asante has delivered numerous lectures, including the Yale University Master's Tea; Vanderbilt University Walter R. Murray Jr. Lecture; Southern Methodist University Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture; and commencement addresses at UCLA, University of Wisconsin, Arizona State University, Vassar, and Harvard University.

Asante is featured in Changing America: 1968 and Beyond, a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Asante has written essays on art, Hip Hop, technology, and culture for USA Today,[6] Huffington Post,[7] San Francisco Chronicle,[8] and the New York Times.[9]


Asante is featured on the song "Bangers", along with Halo, from the album Indie 500 by Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder.

Asante is the founder of Wonderful Sound Studios.

On November 30, 2020, he performed and debuted "We the Eagles" on ESPN's NFL Monday Night Football for a live audience of 11.4 million viewers. [10]

Education and professorship[edit]

Asante is a graduate of The Crefeld School.[11] He studied film and literature at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, earned a BA in Africana Studies and English from Lafayette College, and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA School of Theater Film and Television.[12]

At 23, he joined the faculty of Morgan State University. He received tenure at 26[13] and is currently Associate Professor of creative writing and film in the Department of English and Language Arts.[14] In 2017, he was appointed to Distinguished Professor-in-Residence at the MICA (Institute of Strategic Marketing and Communication) in India.[15]

TV Shows[edit]

Asante is the host and co-executive producer of While Black with MK Asante, a docuseries produced by Snapchat.[16] While Black with MK Asante takes the stories of America’'s black youth and gives them a platform in the smartphones of millions of America’s teens.[17] While Black with MK Asante has nearly 17 million viewers. [18]

Awards and honors[edit]



TV Shows[edit]




  • 2013: "The Color Grey" – Bishop Lamont ft. Mykisha Thomas and MK Asante (produced by Chris Noxx)
  • 2014: "My Victory" – MK Asante ft. Maya Angelou (produced by J Dilla)
  • 2014: "The Bulletin" – MK Asante ft. Uzi (produced by Faze Miyake)
  • 2015: "Young Bucks" – MK Asante ft. Mez (Produced by J-Mac and Commissioner Gordon)
  • 2020: "We the Eagles" - MK Asante (Produced by Mez)


  • 2013: "Godz N The Hood" – Ras Kass ft. Bishop Lamont, MK Asante and Talib Kweli (produced by Chris Noxx)
  • 2015: "Rap Psalms" – MK Asante ft. Narcy (Produced by Thanks Joey)
  • 2015: "Bangers" – MK Asante and Halo (Produced by Nottz)
  • 2016: "Runnin" – Ace Clark ft. MK Asante (Produced by Scarecrow Beats)


  1. ^ McCauley, Mary Carole. "Morgan State professor's memoir, Buck makes big splash". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 26, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Master storyteller M.K. Asante keeps it real in the classroom. CNN.com. Retrieved on June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers 2013". bn.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "The Washington Post Bestseller List". washingtonpost.com. October 24, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Asante, Molefi K. (2014). Buck: A Memoir. Spiegel & Grau. ISBN 978-0-8129-8362-3.
  6. ^ USATODAY.com – Enough disrespect: Return rap to its artistic roots. Usatoday30.usatoday.com (October 25, 2004). Retrieved on 2017-06-23.
  7. ^ Celebrating Kwanzaa With Maya Angelou (VIDEO) | HuffPost. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved on June 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Asante, MK. "We are the post hip-hop generation". SFGate.
  9. ^ Asante, MK. "'Accidental Racist' and Lyrical Provocation". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "ESPN's Monday Night Football Experiences Year-over-Year Viewership Gains Again; Seahawks-Eagles Generates 11.4 Million Viewers"
  11. ^ Filmmaker from Hill thrills Crefeld School kids Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, ChestnutHillLocal.com, December 15, 2005.
  12. ^ "Our Past Meeta Your Future", UCLA.
  13. ^ "MK Asante gets candid about his rise, struggles and gift for language". Today. February 27, 2020.
  14. ^ Gordon, Stanley (October 13, 2007). "Fear The Bear: The Awakening Of A Once Powerful Force". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ MICA, 2017.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (April 4, 2019), "Snapchat Sets 10 New Original Series From Buzzfeed, Bunim/Murray, New Form, More", Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ "While Black with MK Asante", The Shorty Awards.
  18. ^ [https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/snap-50-percent-annual-revenue-growth-1234913390/ "Snap Projects 50% Annual Revenue Growth for Next Several Years, Stock Hits an All-Time High February 23, 2021.

External links[edit]