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Common book keynote to feature Jabari Asim of The Crisis magazine

Thursday, September 22, 2016

LAWRENCE — Jabari Asim, celebrated author and editor-in-chief of The Crisis magazine, will present the fall keynote lecture for the University of Kansas’s Common Book program at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Budig Hall Room 130. Asim will talk about his work in relation to the 2016-2017 KU Common Book, “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

The event is open to the public. Tickets are not required, but space is limited.  

Coates’ profound letter to his adolescent son, “Between the World and Me” is an honest and courageous response to the realities of race, legacy, and inequality in America.  Asim’s work as author, editor, and teacher engages these same themes.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will give opening remarks, and Clarence Lang, professor and chair of African & African-American Studies, will moderate the conversation and the question and answer period.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a conversation for students with Jabari Asim from 8:30-10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center. 

Asim was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellowship in nonfiction in 2009. He has worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Washington Post. Asim is currently associate professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College, and he is the author of several books, including “What Obama Means:…for Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future,” “The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why,” and “Only the Strong.” Asim has also published essays, poetry and children’s books. 

KU Common Book is designed to connect first-year students to the campus community through discussion and lectures. Additionally, “Between the World and Me” is being used in more than 150 class sections at KU this fall. 

Asim’s visit is being co-sponsored by the departments of American Studies and African & African-American Studies, the Langston Hughes Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.


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