Tag: d watkins

Q&A: D. Watkins discusses his new book ‘We Speak For Ourselves,’ his new fiancée and annoying woke people

D Watkins with his fiancée, Caron Brace.

My interview with D. Watkins got off to an awkward start. When he arrived for our appointment, I was standing in the street with tears pouring down my face and a copy of The Baltimore Sun in my hand–the cover of the Arts and Entertainment section featured an unflattering story about me under the headline “BURN BOOK” and a large photo captioned with a quote from D himself: “Marion’s not trying to win any popularity awards.” It was an odd choice to pluck that line out of this story about our time working together in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore, but that was just the beginning of the things that made me sad about this article.

Fortunately, my former student was the perfect person to help me get through my rocky morning. On the eve of publication of his third book of essays, “We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America” (Atria, 188 pp, $25), he’s learned a lot about dealing with the ups and downs of publicity. So that’s where our talk about his new book began. It was held over brunch at Johnny’s–chosen because we thought it would be quiet on a Sunday morning. We forgot about the Easter Bunny, who was brunching there as well, along with half of Roland Park and their kids.

At Light City, A Discussion on Black Identity from Two Baltimore Thought Leaders

Johns Hopkins School of Education assistant professor Wendy Osefo (left) and Baltimore author D. Watkins.

How does one define what it means to be black – and does it help anyone to try?

[email protected] Update: Social Entrepreneurs, Activists, Thinkers, and Writers to Explore Together How to Build a More Equitable and Responsible Society


Thursday, April 6: [email protected]

Gather with social entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers to explore, together, how to build a more equitable and responsible society. Discussion topics include: Business and its impact on communities, Perceptions of Blackness and the affect on student development and society as a whole, Young leaders disrupting the status quo, New Perspectives on Re-Entry and Recidivism.

VP Candidate, Hollywood Director, Controversial Comedian to Visit Johns Hopkins



It’s that time of year again when Johns Hopkins announces the featured speakers for its annual MSE Symposium and–as always–they’ve lined up an amazing slate of accomplished folks from many different walks of life. 

Our Story Now: How We’re Doing Here in Baltimore

D. Watkins (left) on CNN.
D. Watkins (left) on CNN.

As I have been telling friends and relatives from around the country who phoned or messaged this week to make sure we were all right amid the protests in Baltimore: I’m watching it all on TV, just like you are. My only live-action participation has been a little peace march we put together for the kids in our neighborhood the day schools were closed. There were four moms, a few high school students and six or seven little ones. We paraded down to the corner of Cold Spring Lane and Schenley Road, then over to Keswick with brown-paper signs, banging on pots, chanting slogans, and singing — and cheering when we got solidarity honks and peace signs from passing motorists.

    Week in Review: 10 Baltimore Stories You Might’ve Missed


    IMG_4367Baltimore is changing. Do you know where you’ll end up when the music stops? It’s the Week in Review for March 20-27.

    Real Talk on “The Two Baltimores”

    Photo of D Watkins by Stacey Watkins
    Photo of D Watkins by Stacey Watkins

    It’s been great getting to know the work of D Watkins, a Baltimore writer who writes essays about the joys and struggles and contrasts of being born and raised in East Baltimore. Watkins’s latest essay, “Stoop Stories,” opens with Watkins’s invitation to speak at the popular Stoop Storytelling series. As soon as he walked through the lobby, Watkins writes, he realized it was one of those events:

    By ‘those events’ I mean a segregated Baltimore show that blacks don’t even know about. I walked through a universe of white faces wondering, how is this even possible? How could we be in the middle of Baltimore, a predominantly black city where African Americans make up more than 60 per cent of the population, at a sold-out event, with no black people – except for me and the friends I brought?