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  March 4, 2016

D. Watkins and 'The Beast Side'

Robert Scheer sits down with author, professor and activist D. Watkins to discuss his book about life in Baltimore and why he has chosen to stay in the struggling city.


Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of Truthdig. He's also a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and host of the KCRW podcast Scheer Intelligence. For decades, Bob was the national correspondent, and then columnist, for the Los Angeles Times. He's the author of many books, including The Great American Stickup, The Pornography of Power, and most recently They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

D. Watkins is a professor at the University of Baltimore as well as a columnist for Salon. His collection of essays, The Beast Side, explores his past as a youth involved in the drug trade, losing family and friends to crime and jail, and eventually his path out into college, writing, and teaching. In their conversation, Watkins tells Robert Scheer about the impact his book has had on young African-Americans who were not used to reading books about people like themselves. Watkins also discusses his conflicting feelings about gentrification and why he believes it is his responsibility to stay in Baltimore and share his experiences and skills with people in his community.

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