Associate Professor Jabari Asim was appointed to the Boston Public Library (BPL) Board of Trustees’ unofficial writer’s seat, previously held by writers Dennis Lehane, David McCullough, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
Asim teaches in Emerson’s Writing, Literature and Publishing Department and directs the graduate program in Creative Writing.
“As a patron, researcher, and author, I’ve benefitted from the BPL’s expansive archives and programs,” Asim said in a statement. “I look forward to participating as a board member and contributing to its continued growth as an enduring institution and community resource.”
Asim’s nonfiction books include The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why; What Obama Means:…For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future; and Not Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice, and Life. He is also the author of the short story collection A Taste of Honey, and the novel Only the Strong, as well as several children’s books, including Whose Toes Are Those? and Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington. He is currently at work on a musical about Nat Turner called Brother Nat.
He is executive editor of The Crisis, the NAACP’s journal of politics, ideas, and culture founded by historian and social activist W.E.B. Du Bois in 1910, and previously was an editor at The Washington Post for 11 years.
The BPL Board of Trustees sets policies and strategic goals of the library, oversees general operating and administrative policies, and acts as an agent of public trust governing the library, according to the library.
Walsh also appointed to the Board former state senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Suffolk Construction’s vice president of diversity, inclusion and community relations for the Northeast region.
“Linda Dorcena Forry and Jabari Asim both have served the public and understand the critical importance of making information accessible for all communities at the Boston Public Library,” Walsh said in a statement. “The City of Boston is honored to have them join the Board of Trustees and utilize their knowledge, expertise, and personal experiences to further our iconic institution’s important work.”
Ben Bradlee Jr., a longtime Boston Globe editor who oversaw the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal from 2001-2002, was reappointed to the Board.