My Biography

About James Collins

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.  Over the years I have worked as a staff writer for both national and local newspapers; freelanced for such publications as In Pittsburgh, the New Pittsburgh Courier, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and QBR: The Black Book Review; co-published a blog; and in 2020 published a novel, In Search of the Funk. As staff writer at a monthly national tabloid in the late Eighties and early Nineties, I had to proofread every word of every issue before going to press; during that time and since, I have missed very few typos.  

I am equally comfortable with APA and Chicago style formats.  My peer-reviewed research appeared in the Journal of African American History in 2003. That article and other writing by me is posted on  As a mental health clinician, I was the lead writer and editor of a curriculum on family engagement.  Other projects that I’ve edited include:
  • Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008) by Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black. 
  • Engaging and Working with Families: A Guide for Residential Treatment Facilities (Pressley Ridge, n.d.) by Robert W. Sheen.