Yahdon Israel

Lo·qua·cious: "tending to talk a great deal; talkative."


And that's a great thing! Cuz listening to Yahdon Israel (@Yahdon) speak is an absolute pleasure. In addition to simply being a really cool dude, he shares tons of great outlook and insight with us on this episode of The Teacher Ate My Homework.

Yahdon is a writer from Bed-Stuy who writes about people and power. His published works include Show Me a Nigger and I’ll Show You a Racist: The Mind of a Psychopathic Genius and his thesis Run Nigger Run. He’s also the founder of social media trends like #LiterarySwag promoting and equating literacy & style and #FuckBoyFiles providing thought provoking social commentary on Instagram. He's currently attending The New School for his MFA in Creative Non-Fiction.

In this episode we cover a whole range of topics, like how to stay true to your roots in the face of success, how to take full advantage of your education (even after graduation), and why the secret to success is bad credit (JK...kinda). Listen in to hear us discuss these topics and so many more.


NOTE: Our iTunes Feed Is Down Temporarily But You Can Still Hear Every Episode On Youtube As Displayed Below. Sorry For The Inconvenience!



Show Notes

Part 1

What is Creative Non-Fiction [2:34]

The false objectivity of journalism [4:10]

Social contract between writer and reader [4:50]

Why Yahdon chose Creative Non-Fiction to study at New School [6:50]

Connecting the barbershop with the college classroom and maintaining authenticity in the face of success [9:00]

The teacher that got Yahdon into literature[13:50]

The importance of context and wholism in education [18:00]

Yahdon explains #LiterarySwag [21:00]

Being eloquent without elitism [25:30]

"Justin Bieber is more important to your job than you are to his..." [27:27]

Spectacle doesn't have to mean absence of substance [29:50]

How the structure of growing up on welfare prepared Yahdon for academic bureaucracy [32:00]

"We're all going through the same thing just with different articulations of the system" [37:00]

The biggest mistake college students make at school [38:00]

The skills Yahdon learned from growing up in a city of millions (NYC) [43:27]

How fashion plays a role as a tool of success in Yahdon's life and all of our lives [46:30]

The contrast between pop culture and literary culture [50:00]

Celebrity as performance and the writer as penetrator [52:00]

The secret to success: Bad Credit (Jk...kinda) [55:00]

Part 2 (Timestamps for iTunes Feed)

What Does Yahdon write about and why it isn't necessarily what the world tends to classify his writing as [:40]

Why writing is asking more of the consumer than any other medium [6:00]

Writing the page to perform on the stage [8:30]

Yahdon on artistic responsibility [11:00]

How social media validates a person's voice [13:50]

The importance of having people to call you on your bullshit [15:00]

How Yahdon handles trolls/haters [16:00]

Why Yahdon doesn't like working under the influence of substance [18:50]

Setting a first impression [21:00]

Yahdon's 3 favorite writers/designers i.e. his #literaryswag [22:00]

The contrast between how men and women are valued [25:00]

Do we treat our mothers as women or as a means to construct our own myths? [27:00]

Yahdon's morning routine [32:39]

How writing is like getting dressed [34:00]

What Yahdon would do if he was going to die in 15 min [35:30]

Yahdon's Prophecy [37:28]

The importance of font [39:50]

$1500 and a book of your choice to this year's winner of Literary Swag competition [41:00]



The New School

Graywolf Press



Click on #LiterarySwag to see these authors share their #LiterarySwag

Junot Diaz - #LiterarySwag

Eula Biss - #LiterarySwag

Leslie Jamison - #LiterarySwag

Karl Ove Knausgård - #LiterarySwag

Joshua Ferris - #LiterarySwag

Hilton Als - White Girls, The Women

Zadie Smith - 10 Notes on Oscar Weekend

John Lahr - Notes on Fame

Maya Angelou

James Baldwin

Rita Dove



Maison Martin Margiela

Ralph Lauren

Scotch & Soda



Hosted by Cheryl Mowczan and George Robson

Guest: Yahdon Israel

Portrait by Cheryl Mowczan

Music by George Robson

Featured Song at the end of Part 1: "Child's Play" by Hayley Sabella