Important People in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Kiese Laymon
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Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is both the author of the essay collection and whose life is the main subject of many of the essays. He grew up in Mississippi and was the subject of many instances of racism (which are highlighted in several of the essays). Laymon was later educated in English and eventually aspired to become a writer. He did so and became successful with his previous work, Long Division.

Laymon's main concern is relations between people. These relations include those between law enforcement and African Americans, between African Americans and White Americans, and between African Americans and their own race. Within these relations, he often expresses fear that he will be harmed, either physically or emotionally, by those he has relations with.

Laymon's secondary concern is proving himself as a "real black writer" (130). Essentially, Laymon rejects what the popular culture considers black writing, as it is...

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This section contains 613 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America Study Guide
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