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D. Watkins finds stories in the streets
D. Watkins finds stories in the streets

By the time D. Watkins was in his early 20s, he had filled a shoe box with obituaries. Kids he had grown up with in East Baltimore. Classmates, neighbors, guys from the corners. His uncle. And, eventually, his older brother. The brief paragraphs and grainy photos testified to lives cut short, lives touched by the drug trade: users, dealers, those caught in the crossfire. Watkins had 120 thin brochures from funerals, enough to fill a Nike box. They were the only printed records of the lives of people he cared about. Watkins decided it was time for a change. He quit what he wryly calls "the family business" — selling drugs — and enrolled in the University of...

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