D. Watkins

Cindy Seip

D. Watkins is the best-selling author of The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir and The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America. He is an editor-at-large for Salon and his work has been published in various publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone. He’s also a college professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. In his collection of essays We Speak for Ourselves (Atria Books), author D. Watkins provides the perspective of people who live in economically disadvantaged black communities and, as he sees it, is largely absent from the commentary of many top intellectuals who speak and write about race. We sit in underfunded schools, walk the blocks burdened with police corruption, stand within an audience of Make America Great Again hats, journey from trap house to university lecture, and rally in neglected streets. And we listen. Watkins shares the lessons he has learned while navigating through two very distinct worlds—the hood and the elite sanctums of prominent black thinkers and public figures. Kirkus Reviews called We Speak for Ourselves “A strong offering that brings nuance and multiplicity to readers attempting to decipher the black male urban experience while uplifting the stories, visions, and love that incubated a rising star.”