Damon Young is the author of the new book, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker (2019), about surviving in a world where “existing while Black is an extreme sport.”
Entertainment Weekly said Young “has already established himself as one of our most vibrant voices on race. Now comes his first book, a blazing memoir in essays.”
In a New York Times story published March 25, 2019, Young explained the challenges he faced while writing about his experiences, "I didn’t want to encapsulate my existence as very traumatic and downtrodden, like 'Great Expectations.' So much of the national dialogue about race deals with either terrible trauma or black excellence. I was more interested in the space in between, because that’s where I exist. So the challenge was finding a space between sensationalizing and also documenting and contextualizing."
The event is presented by the NYS Writers Institute, based at the University at Albany.