Coming of Age in the Hip Hop Generation: Warrior of the Void is a brilliant narrative that illustrates how what many consider challenging behavior of young black males can also be the biggest asset to exploring the frontier of their personal identity on the journey of re-examining who they are. On the quest for independence, Akhenaton confronts, resists, and rebels against the path his father struggles to mold for him. During the struggle, he enters a “void” where “demons” fight to steal his power and narrate his life. The battles that ensue push him into deep reflection about his father that reveals the power of his own personal truth: the mutual love between them is in fact the potent identity that will overpower the “demons” and liberate his strengths. This book is for young males in search of their personal power and for the parents, teachers, mentors, and friends who seek to help them find it.


Yvette Jackson, Ed.D.

CEO, National Urban Alliance for Effective Education

Author, Pedagogy of Confidence

Coming of Age in the Hip Hop Generation: Warrior of the Void is a cross-generational vision of faith and unconditional love. It is our collective story. This amazing narrative is poetry for our souls. It is the book that I wish would have been available for the countless students who came of age in the last decade in the schools my colleagues and I led in New York City. Nevertheless, it should be an asset to students and educators in schools and universities across America and beyond. We can all relate to Akhenaton’s struggles to define “the man in the mirror” as he comes of age. For those of us who have raised or are raising Latino and African American males, we can also identify with the struggles of his father, Askia, as he seeks to assist his son in navigating through the American maze of life.



Carmen A. Jimenez

Former Principal and Deputy Superintendent,

New York City Public Schools

Former Presenter and Facilitator, The Harvard Principals’ Center

Somewhere between old school soul and new school swag, from the revolutionary politics of the Black Panther Party (of the 1960s) to the rebellious poetry of Tupac’s “Gangsta Party,” a bridge was built in Brooklyn. Linking the stories of a father and son who share untold insight into the challenges and triumphs facing Black youth and their parents, Coming of Age in the Hip Hop Generation: Warrior of the Void is a journey some just ain’t ready for, but all who travel through these pages will be far more prepared for life in America today.


Bryonn Bain

Prison Activist and

Nuyorican Grand Slam Poetry Champion

Author, The Prophet Returns and Lyrics from Lockdown