Prince Shakur, author of WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD, featured in #NewNonfiction of the Sep/Oct Issue of Poets & Writers! Congratulations, Prince!

After immigrating from Jamaica to the United States, Prince Shakur’s family is rocked by the murder of Prince’s biological father in 1995. Behind the murder is a sordid family truth, scripted in the lines of a diary by an outlawed uncle hell-bent on avenging the murder of Prince’s father. As Shakur begins to unravel his family’s secrets, he must navigate the strenuous terrain of coming to terms with one’s inner self while confronting the steeped complexities of the Afro-diaspora.

WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD charts Shakur’s political coming of age from closeted queer kid in a Jamaican family to radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America. Shakur journeys from France to the Philippines, South Korea, and elsewhere to discover the depths of the Black experience, and engages in deep political questions while participating in movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. By the end, Shakur reckons with his identity, his family’s immigration, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.

Examining a tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD shines a light on what we all must ask of ourselves—to be more than what America envisions for the oppressed—as Shakur compels readers to take a closer, deeper look at the political world of young, Black, queer, and radical millennials today.

Prince Shakur is a queer, Jamaican-American freelance journalist, cultural essayist, videomaker, traveler, and NY Times recognized organizer. His writings range from op-eds in Teen Vogue to features on the violent impacts of policing and cultural essays that delve into black icons, like Bob Marley or Huey Newton. He is a 2021 Hurston/Wright Crossover Award recipient and has earned residencies with Sangam House, Twelve Arts, Studios of Key West, Norton Island, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and La Maison Baldwin. He is the host of The Creative Hour Podcast and his website can be found here. Prince is represented by Chelene Knight and Samantha Haywood.