Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim

Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: General Nonfiction

Competition: US & Canada

University of Illinois

A nationally known cultural critic, Jabari Asim is a scholar-in-residence at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Editor-in-chief of the NAACP’s Crisis magazine.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he is a lifelong Cardinals fan who hails from the city’s North Side. He is a frequent commentator who has appeared on The Colbert Report, Hannity & Colmes, The Today Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm Show, and many other media programs. His books include What Obama Means . . . for Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future; Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice, and Life; The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why; and several books for children. His children’s book Whose Toes Are Those? was chosen as a best book of 2006 by Child Magazine, Nick Jr. Magazine, and the Forward. His poetry, fiction, and plays have been included in a number of major anthologies, including Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America, Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, Beyond the Frontier: African-American Poetry for the 21st Century; and Furious Flower: A Collection of Contemporary African American Poetry. He was formerly an editor and syndicated columnist at the Washington Post and his freelance writing has appeared in Ebony, Essence, salon.com, the Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, New York Times, and elsewhere.

He is ecstatically married to Liana Asim and the proud father of five children. During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, he is working on a new book about violence and African-American communities.


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