Join us for insightful event with Jabari Asim, who is a critically-acclaimed author of both adult and children books. He’ll be in conversation with Linda K. Wertheimer, who is an author, freelance journalist and former education editor of The Boston Globe.
Jabari’s latest book, We Can’t Breathe, came out in October. In it, he disrupts what Toni Morrison has exposed as the “Master Narrative” and replaces it with a story of black survival and persistence through art and community in the face of centuries of racism. In eight wide-ranging and penetrating essays, he explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body.
What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma. These thought-provoking essays present a different side of American history, one that doesn’t depend on a narrative steeped in oppression, but rather reveals black voices telling their own stories.
Jabari Asim is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for Creative Writing at Emerson College. He was an editor for 11 years at The Washington Post, where he also wrote a syndicated column on politics, popular culture, and social issues.
Jabari is also the editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine, the NAACP’s flagship journal of politics, culture, and ideas, and has served as the book editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. When he was with the P-D, he was the only African-American to supervise book/publishing coverage at a major metropolitan daily.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, Jabari has also written several books, from non-fiction (What Obama Means, The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why) to fiction (A Taste of Honey), to children’s books (A Child’s Introduction to African-American History, Whose Knees Are These, and Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington, among others).
Linda K. Wertheimer is a veteran journalist and former Boston Globe education editor, is the award-winning author of Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, USA Today, Time, and many other publications.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.