‘Be an opportunity creator’: Multicultural Center hosts presentation on modern civil rights movement

The Herald – news

“We have to find out what we are good at and love it. We have to use that to an advantage,” said Baltimore author and educator D. Watkins.
Watkins presented his account of his upbringing and early life at A-State Jan. 28. A professor of creative writing at University of Baltimore, Watkins recently compiled his first novel “The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America.”
Growing up in the rougher east side of Baltimore, Watkins felt the need to educate his peers on what it truly means to live in the modern cultural climate. Watkins poured his experiences and past into his novel, in which he accounts not only what it is like to be black and live in Baltimore, but to be a black individual in America.
Watkins spoke of getting a phone call from his friend one night who repeatedly said, “Wear all black, we’re going to lie down in traffic. Come to North Avenue…wear all black, come to North Avenue.” Hoping to protest the building of a new kiddie jail in the area, his friend was ready to rally people together in order to make a statement. But as Watkins reflected, he came to the realization that he was a different kind of activist than his friend, and that was okay.
When presented the next question, he asked himself how he could make a difference, how he could make the change he wished to see. Watkins realized that he wanted to inspire others to read, that was his passion. He encouraged people to seek out a passion, something interesting to them, and to use that to make a difference.
“As an activist, that’s how I make a difference. I should be teaching people how to read, how to tell their own stories.”
With the belief that reading would lead to an overall enhancement …

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