Author Interview: Kingsley Osei
What or who inspired you to write this Young Kap?
KINGSLEY: There's been a lot going on in our world today. A lot that has transpired among the Black culture, especially with people of color being heavily discriminated against, and killed by the hands of racism. These are things that I wanted to touch on, and Colin Kaepernick's courageous stance in 2016 inspired me to do so. I not only wanted to tell this story of this brave soul and fearless man who stood up for his rights, but I wanted this story and this book to be a conversation starter for our youth. I wanted it to be a great resource for kids of all ages to discuss this everlasting issue in our society. I wanted them to know that they also had a voice, and this was a great way to inform them of our modern history and their rights.
What challenges, if any, did you face while writing Young Kap?
KINGSLEY: One thing's for sure I wanted this book to be true to its form. And what I mean by that is -- I think the challenge for me was not only telling the story of Kap and his compelling bravery -- but also tackling the saddening issues of social injustices and the many people who were plagued and affected by it. So there are images of, say, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin in the book. With that in mind, the most challenging part was writing this book accurately; and thinking of these slain young men who endured these societal wrongdoings because of pure hate.
What do you hope for readers to take away from this story?
KINGSLEY: I hope this book is a constant reminder for readers of all ages to never take no for an answer. When barriers stand in your way, whether it be issues of this magnitude, you must never back down when challenges come your way. I wanted readers to also see that they too can be a trendsetter, leader, and activist. I wanted Kap's story to inspire and motivate readers. This is a story that had to be told and representation is all that matters to me.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
KINGSLEY: When I am not writing or teaching, I love spending time with my family. I love binge-watching shows on Netflix, and love listening to Hip Hop and R&B music. Very big on the latest projects from Nas, Common, Alicia Keys, Kiana Lede, and Jay Electronica.
Who is your favorite author and why?
KINGSLEY: Growing up and throughout my high school years, I was an avid fan of the work of the late greats, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. Books such as Sula, Beloved, and I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings were stories that did a phenomenal job of revealing the complexities of Black Lives. It also entailed the African American struggle, as well as vividly painting a picture for the reader from a woman's point of view. This, however, fascinated me in many ways during my teen years. I was very interested in books like these.
Are you currently working on anything that you would like to share with our readers? If not, do you plan to write and publish more books?
KINGSLEY: Well, yes, I am currently working on one book right now that I can't reveal too much about. However, I do have one book that is done and will be coming out hopefully during Black History Month about the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. I am really looking forward to everyone reading that and I can't wait until everyone gets their copies. You can follow @youngkingzbx on Instagram for updates and announcements as to when it will arrive.
Lastly, where can our readers purchase Young Kap?
KINGSLEY: Young Kap is available for purchase on Bookshop.
Thank you Kingsley for sharing your writing journey with Mocha Books and our readers.