Carlsbad resident Devin C. Hughes wears many hats: award-winning speaker, bestselling author, former college basketball player, husband and father. You may already know him from a previous Patch.com feature or his own Patch.com columns. You’re invited to meet Hughes in person at Carlsbad City Library on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m., when he discusses and signs his books Contrast and Self Talk.
Hughes’ memoir Contrast: A Biracial Man’s Journey to Desegregate His Past, is about acceptance, perseverance and love. Self Talk, his comic book about bullying, is a resource for educators, parents and anyone who wants to promote education, a sense of pride and self-esteem within their students and children. Hughes recently answered questions about his books and work.
What motivated you to write Contrast?
"There are quite a few people out there who feel alone, isolated and left out. The book represents the disenfranchised, the overweight person, the non-athlete, the person who does not fit in. After 43 years on this planet, I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. Experiences we have shape our attitude. During childhood, our attitudes are molded directly and indirectly by the race, ethnicity and status of the people around us (i.e. teachers and classmates, parents, colleagues and friends, sales clerks, doctors, nurses, waiters, house cleaners, construction workers, the unemployed, the homeless, etc.). I shed light on what it feels like to be left out, alone and disconnected from friends and family. I hope to arm readers with ways to move forward by talking openly and listening without censure."
You speak at schools, universities and corporations to help others access their potential for change. What do you see as a key skill for the next generation?
"In the 21st century, the ability to communicate and work with people from different racial and ethnic groups will be as essential as computer skills. The United States is already one of the most diverse societies in the world. Our children will inherit an even more diverse society. We need to help them learn to live and work closely with people whose race, religion or culture may be different from their own. We can talk openly about race, ethnicity, religion and bigotry. We can answer questions about these complicated topics, and we can begin a dialogue. By speaking openly about similarities and differences between people, we can raise children whose lives are not constricted by fear."
Hughes’ books will be available for sale at the Feb. 2 event at Carlsbad City Library, located at 1775 Dove Lane. For more information about the event, call 760-602-2012. Learn more about Hughes at www.devinchughes.com.