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Jabari Asim


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Jabari Asim
Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim is an associate professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston and the executive editor of The Crisis, the...


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Jabari Asim: The Most Potent Epithet of All

“Whether or not one uses the N-word isn’t one of those ‘distraction’ issues like flag burning; it’s a character issue.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2006 READ MORE


Jabari Asim: Black American Males, or Short-Timers

What does it say about our culture that African-American men living in the nation’s inner cities have a life expectancy roughly equal to that of people of similar age living in West Africa?

Posted on Sep 17, 2006 READ MORE


Jabari Asim: Lil’ Kim’s Coming-Out Party

Upon her return from jail on a perjury conviction, the rapper Lil’ Kim almost made us believe that imprisonment had afforded her time to reflect upon the demeaning portrayal of women in the rap genre. Almost.

Posted on Sep 5, 2006 READ MORE



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Jabari Asim: After the Storm

New Orleans’ sudden death was equivalent to the slow deaths of cities like Philadelphia, Newark and Oakland.  So many of the same conditions exist; only the weather is different.

Posted on Aug 27, 2006 READ MORE


Jabari Asim: Jim Crow Poll Tax 2.0

GOP’ers say it’s just a coincidence that Democratic voters are the ones most likely to be disenfranchised by new photo ID requirements at the voting booths. Yeah, and I’ve got some fertile Missouri mules to sell you.

Posted on Aug 13, 2006 READ MORE


Jabari Asim: The N.Y. Times’ Unwitting Racism

The newspaper thought it was striking a blow for racial tolerance by bemoaning the phenomenon of “sassy, overweight’’ black actresses in TV commercials. Instead, it just betrayed its own biases about people of color.

Posted on Aug 8, 2006 READ MORE


Jabari Asim: Closing the Racial Gap in Medical Treatment

Why do African Americans still lag behind even recent African immigrants when it comes to beating heart disease and cancer?

Posted on Jul 29, 2006 READ MORE

View older articles:  <  1 2 3 4 >


Jabari Asim
Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim is an associate professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston and the executive editor of The Crisis, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, ideas and cultureHis background as a book critic and a poet, plus his newspaper experience as a book editor, arts editor, and on the editorial staff of a large daily newspaper, contribute to commentary that is unique in perspective.

Asim is perhaps the most influential African-American literary critic of his generation. As a senior editor of Washington Post Book World, he helps determine coverage of not just black literature but also poetry, essays, fiction and nonfiction created around the world. For two years he wrote a book review column that appeared each Tuesday in the Style section of the Post, until he launched his nationally syndicated op-ed column in 2003.

Before coming to Book World, he worked as book editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, during which time he was the only African-American to supervise book/publishing coverage at a major metropolitan daily. Other jobs he held at the Post-Dispatch include copy editor of the daily editorial and commentary pages and arts editor of the weekend section. His reviews and cultural criticism also have been published in the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times Book Review,, the Detroit News, The Village Voice, Hungry Mind Review, XXL, Code, Emerge and other journals and publications. Earlier op-ed essays appeared in the Phoenix Gazette, and on His literary essays have been published in “The Furious Flowering of African-American Poetry” (University Press of Virginia) and “Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of The New Black Literature” (Wiley & Sons).

An accomplished poet, playwright and fiction writer, Asim has published work in a number of anthologies and literary magazines. He was the only writer to have both poetry and fiction included in “In The Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers” (Harlem River Press); his short story “Two Fools” appeared in “Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America” (Ballantine); and his poems, along with “Peace, Dog,” a one-act play, were published in “Soulfires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence” (Viking Penguin). Asim’s work also has appeared in “Beyond The Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century,” (Black Classic Press) and in “Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art” (Third World Press).

“The Road To Freedom,” his first novel for young readers, was published in May 2000 by NTC/Contemporary. He is editor of “Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on the Law, Justice and Life,” published in November 2001 by Amistad/HarperCollins. Asim continues to write children’s books and most recently authored “Only the Strong” (2015).

Jabari Asim and his wife Liana have five children.

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