I am a freelance writer who has written on the topics of multiculturalism, education reform, race and African American/American identity for more than twenty years. As of June, I am also a contributing writer with Al Jazeera English-Opinion on these topic. I have published articles in Al Jazeera English, The Atlantic, Salon, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Gannett Suburban Newspapers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, History of Education Quarterly, The Washington Post, Teachers College Record, Academe Magazine, Radical Society and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. My publications include narrative profiles and stories, op-eds, book reviews, scholarly articles and feature articles, review entries and book chapters.
The manuscript I am working on now is titled Narcissism, American Style: Essays on Racism, Narcissism, and How to Get to a Post-Western World. Narcissism, American Style is a collection of allegories (with personal and historical vignettes embedded within). My approach has been to open up each chapter with a story of either a slice of the troubled times of the 21st-century US or with visions of my great-times-eight granddaughter Olivia, one living three centuries later, in a post-American, post-Western world. The latter is a world in which global leadership is synonymous with Black and Brown women, a world that much more keenly understands the dangers of narcissism and racism than the one in which we inhabit today. Through the lenses of Afrofuturism, Pan-Africanism, critical race theory, and intersectionality, my muse-as-descendant is the aperture through which readers can view the world after centuries of capitalism, modern racism, climate change, and misogyny have come to an end. This miracle, however, only occurred after the globe experienced significant pain, and after the Western world collapsed under its own weight.
I am also the author of Fear of a “Black” America: Multiculturalism and the African American Experience (iUniverse.com, 2004), an in-depth response to the conservative movement’s “Culture Wars” on all things “multicultural.” The book is a combination of my personal vignettes with interviews and historical research to create a semi-scholarly, semi-narrative nonfiction story of African Americans and other groups of color coming to grips with their notions of multiculturalism in education and in their everyday lives.
Boy @ The Window (self-published, 2013) is my memoir that covers my years growing up in poverty and abuse in Mount Vernon, New York (suburban New York City) during the 1980s. It’s a story about the universal search for understanding on how any one of us becomes the person they are despite—or because of—the odds intertwined with my own search for redemption, trust, love, success—for a life worth living. It’s a personal dialogue along with interviews of those who were in my life more than two decades ago. It’s an intellectual and emotional journey that is about our deepest fears and most cherished dreams as much as it is about me and the people I grew up around. Boy @ The Window is about one of the most important lessons of all: what it takes to overcome inhumanity in order to become whole and human again.
Outside of my work as a writer, I’ve worked in academia for more than twenty years and in the nonprofit world for more than a decade. I currently serve as a Visiting Assistant Professor in African American History at Loyola University Maryland, a non-tenured Professorial Lecturer in History and American Studies at American University, and as an Associate Professor with University of Maryland University College. I have taught as an adjunct professor of African American History and American Education at Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, George Washington University, the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University. I also have been a consultant with Educational Testing Service, American Institutes for Research and the Junior Statesmen Foundation.
For more than four years I served as the Deputy Director of College Access and Success Initiatives with the Center for School and Community Services at Academy for Educational Development (AED – now FHI 360) in Washington, DC and New York City. I also previously served as Assistant Director of the New Voices Fellowship Program at AED, a program for emerging leaders in the social justice field.
I have a Ph.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Pittsburgh. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland with my wife and my young adult son.
If you would like to contact me for a speaking engagement, a training, a panel presentation, or a book talk/signing, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be reached via Twitter at @decollins1969. I can speak as a writer, a historian, and an educator on US identity and Black identity, critical race theory, American narcissism and American systemic racism (i.e., white supremacy). and K-16 education issues (particularly educational equity and pathways to college and graduate school, not to mention, the false notion of education as a meritocracy).
My blog (including my videos, other writings and blog topics) should provide a good sense of what to expect from me.