Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Invisable Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education (Bold Type Books 2016), and Stakes Is High (Bold Type Books 2020), a winner of the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Hunter College.

Smith is host of the podcast Open Forum on LitHub Radio. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Harper’s, Artforum, Oxford American, New Republic, The Nation, and more.

Smith has appeared as a commentator or MSNBC, CNN, Democracy NOW!, NPR, and numerous other national/local radio and television outlets. In 2014 and 2016, TheRoot.com named him one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in their annual The Root 100 list. He was also a 2017 NAACP Image Award Nominee. Smith lives in Brooklyn.

Recent Work

What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police?

What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police?

Trevor Noah speaks with panelists about the recent progress of the Black Lives Matter movement, the call to defund the police, and community-based alternatives.
Featuring Mychal Denzel Smith and Josie Duffy Rice on The Daily Show.

Remembering Toni Morrison

Remembering Toni Morrison

Four writers pay tribute to a great American novelist and groundbreaking intellect.
By Mychal Denzel Smith and others in the New Republic.

Real Black History

Real Black History

Real Black History (Abridged).
Mychal Denzel Smith  on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

The Gatekeepers

The Gatekeepers

On the burden of the black public intellectual.

Books
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education

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 denied 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 that could have been and are still waiting.

Donate

We depend upon the generous support of individuals and institutions committed to a free and independent press, civil liberties, and social justice. We are a 501(c)(3) public foundation, and donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by law.

YOU MAKE OUR WORK POSSIBLE

We depend upon the generous support of individuals and institutions committed to a free and independent press, civil liberties, and social justice.

Type Media Center is a 501(c) (3) public foundation, donations to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by law. If you have any questions, or would like other donation options, visit our donate page or contact us at (212) 822-0252.