An American author and political activist, he wrote for Esquire, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. His published works in book form include My Own Private Ghetto (a memoir) and The Kevin Powell Reader.
He attended Rutgers University. In 1992, he joined the New York cast of the MTV reality television program, The Real World.
His 2009 work, Open Letters to America, celebrated the election of Obama and American political engagement in general.
He grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. He later entered politics in New York.
He was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he discussed his activism on behalf of abused women.