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by Mychal Denzel Smith
Nation contributing writer Smith, who was raised in a strict military household and surreptitiously listened to hip-hop under the covers at night, writes of the tension between his straight-laced parents and the brash anti-establishment views of his artistic heroes. His political awakening was framed by a litany of names, men and boys like Trayvon Martin, whose death “places us in the unenviable position of wishing that our martyrs could have survived to become tokens.” … Smith uses deeply personal, often haunting imagery to describe his formative years at a historically black college and his struggles with mental illness that left him a few credits shy of a degree.
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