MK Asante in 2010. Photo by Throwacoup. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikipedia.

MK Asante
Born November 3, 1982
Harare, Zimbabwe
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation Writer

Molefi K. Asante (born November 3, 1982) is an African-American poet, non-fiction author, filmmaker, and academic.


Education and professorshipEdit

Asante is a graduate of The Crefeld School.[1] He studied film and literature at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, earned a B.A. in Africana Studies and English from Lafayette College, and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA School of Theater Film and Television.

At 23, he joined the faculty of Morgan State University. He received tenure shortly after, and is Associate Professor of creative writing and film in the Department of English and Language Arts.[2]

Writing careerEdit

Asante is the author of three celebrated books. His most recent book, It's Bigger Than Hip Hop (2008) is creative nonfiction that uses hip hop culture as a vehicle to explore social issues facing the hip hop and post hip hop generations. It's Bigger Than Hip Hop was described by Ari Bloomekatz of The Los Angeles Times as: "An empowering book that moves you to action and to question status quo America. Reading It's Bigger Than Hip Hop is motoring through a new generation of America with one of its best storytellers."

His other books are the poetry collections, Beautiful. And Ugly Too (2005) and Like Water Running Off My Back (2002).

Asante's fourth book, Buck, a memoir about his youth in Philadelphia, was published in 2013.


Asante has written, directed, and/or produced three award-winning feature documentary films.

  • Asante wrote and produced 500 Years Later (2005), winner of numerous international film festival prizes as well as the Breaking the Chains Award from the United Nations' UNESCO.
  • Asante directed and produced The Black Candle (2008), a film narrated by Maya Angelou, winner of Best Documentary at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.
  • Asante produced Motherland (film) (2010), winner of Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival and Zanzibar International Film Festival.

Lectures, media appearances, and essaysEdit

Asante has lectured in over 25 countries at hundreds of colleges, universities, libraries, film festivals, conferences, and literary festivals.

Asante has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs including the CBS Early Show, CNN, Tom Joyner Morning Show, NPR, and NBC News.

Asante has written essays on art, music, technology, and culture for USA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times.


  • "If you make an observation, you have an obligation."[3]


Asante has been described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "a rare, remarkable talent that brings to mind the great artists of the Harlem Renaissance." [4] He was described by CNN as "a master storyteller and major creative force."[5] He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including the Langston Hughes Award from the Langston Hughes Society and the Key to the City of Dallas, TX.



  • Like Water Running Off My Back. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2002.[6]
  • Beautiful, and Ugly Too: Poems. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2005.


  • It's Bigger Than Hip Hop: The rise of the post-hip-hop generation. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008.
  • Buck: A memoir. Waterville, ME: Thorndike Press, 2013.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

Audio / videoEdit

Like Water Running Off my Back - Ocacia MK Asante

Like Water Running Off my Back - Ocacia MK Asante


  • 500 Years Later. London: Haleqah Media, 2005.
  • The Black Candle. Asante Filmworx, 2008.
  • Motherland. London: Haleqah Films, 2010.

Except where noted, filmographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. Filmmaker from Hill thrills Crefeld School kids,, December 15, 2005
  3. OU 'family' celebrates Kwanzaa (2006)
  4. M.K. Asante, Jr. - Artist in Progress, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 30th, 2005
  5. - "Master Storyteller MK Asante keeps it real in the classroom"
  6. Like Water Running off My Back, Web, Aug. 23, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Search results = au:M K Asante, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Aug. 23, 2015.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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