By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Globe and BU will collaborate on an anti-racist digital publication

The Boston Globe’s opinion section and Boston University are launching an anti-racist initiative called The Emancipator, and they’re looking for an editor-in-chief. Here’s how the job listing begins:

The Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research are collaborating to resurrect the tradition of abolitionist-era journals such as William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator and Frederick Douglass’s The North Star via a new multimedia platform for opinion journalism. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, antislavery publications, many of which were founded in Boston, were the nation’s most influential megaphones for antislavery commentary and helped to bring about Emancipation. Today, we envision The Emancipator as a leading megaphone for antiracist commentary and ideas that are grounded in both scholarly research and journalistic reporting.

The editor will work out of the Globe’s newsroom (once it reopens, of course) with a co-editor based at BU. The project will be under the guidance of the Globe’s editorial-page editor, Bina Venkataraman, and the director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research, Ibram X. Kendi.

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  1. Marcus J Breen

    Is it possible for the Globe plus BU to replicate the heyday of black, emancipatory journalism? We live in hope!

  2. StephenB

    My hope is muted. My can hope can be unmuted if the Emancipator, in striving to reach its goal of providing “antiracist commentary and ideas that are grounded in both scholarly research and journalistic reporting,” invite Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Coleman Hughes, and others like them to contribute. Otherwise, I’m afraid the Emancipator will turn out to be the official organ of the gospel of anti-racism according to Kendi.

    • MagellanNH

      I second this. I’ve learned some important things from projects like the 1619 project, but without a functioning discourse that can meaningfully interrogate radical new perspectives, it’s very easy for things to go off the rails. We’re seeing lots of examples of this lately.

      Rash and foolish action in the name of equity and anti-racism can do great harm to everyone, including the most vulnerable among us. We need to preserve space for discourse and especially harsh criticism of anti-racism and critical theory in general for these ideas to have any chance of improving our society.

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