NAACP Welcomes Jabari Asim as New Editor of The CRISIS

Former Washington Post section leader brings his vision to Association’s official organ


August 07, 2007

Jabari Asim

On Aug. 20 new talent takes over the chief editorial duties of America’s award winning, pre-eminent magazine of thought leaders, peacemakers and justice seekers as Jabari Asim becomes editor of The Crisis.     

“The Board of The Crisis is enormously pleased that Jabari Asim has agreed to edit our publication,” said Roger Wilkins, the magazine’s publisher. “Mr. Asim is a seasoned editor, a fine writer and author of a new best selling book. He is a gentleman devoted to the cause of racial justice, is excited about his new role with the NAACP and we are energized by his joining our ranks.”  

Asim comes to The Crisis from the Washington Post where he was deputy editor of its “Book World” section, where he helped determine coverage of poetry, essays, fiction and nonfiction created around the world.

The Crisis will encourage its readers to recognize that there is no time less like the present to work together to overcome injustice and create a fair and equitable society for all Americans,” Asim said. “I'm honored and humbled to be a part of The Crisis' rich and enduring tradition of committed journalism, constructive dissent and enlightened resistance. I will do my best to uphold its standards.”

The Crisis was originally published by NAACP co-founder W.E. B. Du Bois beginning in 1910 as the premier crusading voice for civil rights. Today, The Crisis, one of the oldest black periodicals in America, continues this mission. A respected journal of thought, opinion and analysis, the magazine remains the official publication of the NAACP and is an articulate partner in the struggle for human rights for people of color.

Asim, a 45-year old St. Louis native who considers Du Bois one of his personal heroes, is author of the recently published "The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and Why," his cultural history of white supremacy, published by Houghton Mifflin.

“I'm dedicated to the bodacious notion that we can think our way out of our constrictions---and to demonstrating that possibility in each issue of The Crisis,” Asim added. ”Far too often we have avoided critical thinking in favor of things and activities that merely comfort us and distract us from the larger concerns that we face as a people. The pages of The Crisis will be filled with the output of thinkers and doers who not only believe in the progressive values that the NAACP represents, but also exemplify them in their daily lives.”

Before coming to the Post, Asim 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.

He is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle whose columns, essays, reviews and cultural criticism have appeared in numerous periodicals including: the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times Book Review,, the Detroit News, The Village Voice, XXL, Code, Emerge, Essence, The Crisis, and He has also written children's books, is married and a father of five.

Published bi-monthly, The Crisis magazine is dedicated to being an open and honest forum for discussing critical issues confronting people of color, American society and the world in addition to highlighting the historical and cultural achievements of these diverse peoples.

The Crisis is published by The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc.- a for-profit enterprise that is legally separate from the NAACP. Except for the stories featured in "The NAACP Today" section of the magazine, the opinions expressed in the pages of The Crisis may not represent the official position of the NAACP.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.  Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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