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Summary

How do you learn to be a Black man in America? For young Black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of Black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean. 

In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years, describing his efforts to come into his own in a world that denies his humanity. Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about Black masculinity, rewriting the script for Black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren't considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent - for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons who could have been and are still waiting. 

©2016 Mychal Denzel Smith (P)2016 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching

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Incredibly insightful

As a 25 year old African American I related to almost every single word in this book. This book isn't just for people like me, but for every single person that wants any insight as what it's like to be a young black man in this day and age. Beautifully written and wonderfully read, I recommend this book to everyone that cares about our society.

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  • Naima
  • 17-08-16

Fire!!!

Smith killed it!! I'm so impressed with his honesty and self awareness. The irony is that his analysis of sexism is going to be more persuasive because he is male. Overall the book is relevant, timely and thought provoking. Simply brilliant. Thank you Mr. Smith.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica Buford
  • 19-07-16

Outstanding

Within the text Smith unveiled the issues facing black America today from racism, sexism, mental illness, classism, homophobia, transgenders, drugs, survivors guilt, love and more. Bringing attention to more than just the obvious but digging deeper, trying to uncover the roots. It's a great read!!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremiah
  • 10-02-17

Raw and powerful

Mychal Denzel Smith has an incredible ability to speak from his heart. Not only is he educated, but he uses that education to express his opinions and struggles on being a black man in America. Smith lets his writing flow naturally and it's rawness gives a much appreciated personality to his book. The narrarator, Kevin R. Free, does an excellent job bringing the personable writings to life. From his well placed pauses, to his sarcastic tones, to his solemn finishers, everything came together in a masterpiece.

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  • Li
  • 17-09-16

What is a black man in American... fully awakened.

Senior high and college shapes author differently. Same for me. Author stand on his father's shoulder. Same for me. Even if I am a chinese in China.

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  • Patricia Hambsch
  • 31-08-16

History through a Young Black Man's Eyes!! Perfect

I don't say awesome very often, but This book is Awsome!!! This young black author has his head in the right place!!! His book described his history via politics, sexuality and mental health of our Black Nation in a way that everyone can and needs to understand!!! As an Elementary school Teacher, I saw exactly what he describes!! Everyone, please take the time to submerge into this book!! Thank you Mr. Smith!!

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  • Carol Shifflett
  • 06-05-20

Opinion

When I started the book I found myself very curious about this young man's resistance to what seemed to be everything. But it makes sense, he's a young man on the journey of life with so much to learn. I was curious to hear the rest of the story. Thank you for bringing mental health as it relates to black people into the story. What disturbed me most was his critique of President Obama about what's really happening with some Black people. The author sounded very immature. He sounds like a spoiled best. I know that the author knows that this is coming, of President Obama in his efforts to speak to Black connunities. The author came from a home with a father present. President Obama's wasn't speaking to you. So why twist it? He was talking to the men who do not take responsibility. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. So typical of the black community. The office critique of the president Was the language of a privilege black millennial who can't appreciate the wisdom and experiences of his elders.

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  • Aisha bradford
  • 29-11-16

a must for every young black male,

loved it from start to finish, I got a copy just give as a gift to my teenage brother. 8 is my favorite chapter

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  • Jacob
  • 27-07-16

Great Perspective

Great story, great insight and perspective from a young, articulate, evolved black millennial man. I would have liked Mychal to narrate

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  • jenniferjane
  • 31-08-16

fantastic

amazing perspective on the world. a good read for anyone with a pulse and a brain

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  • Morrcahn
  • 15-04-21

Unabashed introspection

I really appreciated how honest Mychal was in this telling of his formative years (up through college). He recognizes his own bigotry and patriarchy and challenges it. All while being unafraid to challenge the statis quo brought by politicians like Obama.