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Baltimore Writer Dwight Watkins on Poverty and Pop Culture

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Dwight Watkins in the WYPR lobby. Photo credit: Dwight Watkins.February 7, 2014

"The rich are copping new boats and we still are using the oven to heat up our houses in the winter, while eating our cereal with forks to preserve milk. America still feels like America, a place where you have to pay to play, any and everywhere even here at our broke-ass card game."

That’s a part of a piece written by Dwight Watkins for the online magazine Salon, published this past Tuesday. Watkins writes about the isolating effects of poverty in the East Baltimore neighborhoods where he grew up. It was inspired by the ‘selfie’ the Danish prime minister took of herself and Barack Obama on her cellphone at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in December.

Watkins says, "“I walk in between these different worlds. I’m a college professor and I’m from the street. So, it’s like I live in two Baltimores. The one Baltimore fully understands what a “selfie” is. One of the neighborhoods where I come from, a lot of people don’t."

Sheilah Kast talks with Dwight Watkins about how some in East Baltimore are "too poor for pop culture."

Produced by Matt Purdy.

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