Rashid Darden is an award-winning novelist based in Washington, DC, who uses the written word as a vehicle for the advancement of justice and social action. His influences are wide and varied, from Paul Beatty and Saul Williams to Jackie Collins and Stephen King. Because of the dearth of such stories in his literary upbringing, his novels will always include characters who are gay or bisexual men of color.
Rashid's first three novels are the Potomac University Series, consisting of Lazarus (2005), Covenant (2011), and Epiphany (2012). Each book was published by Old Gold Soul Press to critical acclaim. The novels told the collected stories of Adrian Collins, a gay college sophomore who pledges a predominately black fraternity; how he deals with the cycle of hazing; and how he navigates both family and romantic relationships. The books resonated deeply with many in the African American, LGBT, and fraternal communities, earning Rashid fans that span the generations. A companion volume of poetry entitled The Life and Death of Savion Cortez was released in 2011.
Rashid's next novel is Birth of a Dark Nation (2013), the first in the Dark Nation series, the stories of African vampires brought to America during the transatlantic slave trade.
His short story "Smith & Jones: Young Americans" was first published in 47 - 16 : Short Fiction and Poetry Inspired by David Bowie (Volume I). In 2018, it will be released for the first time under the Old Gold Soul banner.
2018 will also mark the debut of Yours in the Bond, a spin-off of the Potomac University trilogy, in which Eustace Dailey, Jeremy Jacob Carter, and other young professionals stumble out of college and into the so-called "real world."
In 2017, Rashid's play Message from 'The Legba' was selected as a winner of the OutWrite DC and Theatre Prometheus One Page Play Competition. It was staged in 2018. Rashid won the Elite 25 Award in Literature from Clik Magazine in 2006.
When he is not writing, Rashid teaches. He also spends time volunteering through multiple nonprofit organizations and associations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. In his free time, he edits BlackOrgs.net and writes for Divine Nine Lover. He is available for public speaking engagements on a multitude of topics.