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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Author of Anti-Racist Book Encourages Students to Find Their Calling

Author of Anti-Racist Book Encourages Students to Find Their Calling

Kondwani Fidel, author of the book “The Antiracist: How to Start The Conversation About Race And Take Action,” spoke on Feb. 16 about the power of storytelling and finding your voice.

The event was hosted by the Black Student Association. Upon arriving, students were asked to sign in through a QR code while listening to the songs “This is How We Do It” and “Total” by Notorious B.I.G.  The guest speaker was welcomed by loud applause from students and began by sharing details from his upbringing. 

Fidel also wrote the book, “Raw Wounds,” and tackled topics that provided students with advice on how to find their calling, while stressing the importance of education.

His books discuss both the dynamics of social justice and social oppression, much like his in-person discussion. Fidel shared his own confusion about knowing which direction would serve him best in his professional life. He explained that finding a path is a time-consuming process, with many trials and errors.

“The only reason I got straight A’s was because my aunt was giving me $20 whenever that happened. It’s funny, but it’s what kept me motivated for school,” Fidel said. “When people didn’t want to participate, I raised my hand whether it was right or wrong just because I wanted to stand out in that way. You also realize very early on about finding things out the hard way.”

Fidel explained how his calling took a jump start when he was attending college at Virginia State. Several times throughout his talk he mentioned his cousin, Avan, who had a profound impact on him, and became a mentor for him. He explains how all around his college he kept seeing the acronym HBCU and, at first, didn’t know what it meant.

“I called my cousin Avan to ask what it meant. He laughed and told me it stood for ‘Historically Black College and Universities.’ I felt so embarrassed for not knowing,” Fidel said.

Fidel added how, during his sophomore year, he became part of a mentor organization and volunteered to do poetry. He performed one of his poems, got a standing ovation. After, he began performing for the different fraternities and sororities on his campus.

He explained how he carried his success over to YouTube, where some of his videos went viral and he knew at that moment he wanted to teach and guide students about ways to understand literacy, something that he tries to do through his poems.

Fidel said, “I kind of had this epiphany. I felt the need to visit schools and show students ways to understand the literacy in our readings. I kept trying to find fun ways so they could understand.”

Throughout his presentation, Fidel used different ideas to get his points across. Whether it was referencing the movie “The Lion King” or a pop culture song from one of his favorite rappers, Eminem, the message was all the same. 

“How we all come from different backgrounds and to have pride in where we come from and acknowledge that we are all different and unique,” Fidel said.

One of the students in the audience, Cole Djondo ‘26, said, “I thought it was really good. Very interesting, he went to my high school, so I thought it was very cool.” 

Students who attended had the opportunity to learn about finding your calling and how it is not always one clear, straight path.

Another student in the audience, Raven Gwathney ‘26 said, “I was more focused on the writing aspect. I appreciated him talking about writing in your own voice, and I’m at a crossroads right now trying to decide on a minor and that helped a lot trying to figure it out.”

To see more of Fidel’s work, follow him on Instagram. For information about future BSA events, follow them on Instagram.


Featured Image Courtesy of Simone Sanchez.

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Author of Anti-Racist Book Encourages Students to Find Their Calling