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Kenji Jasper has known writing longer than anything else. At 37, he can boast of a 25-year career in writing and journalism, which began when he published his first article as an intern for The Washington Informer newspaper at the age of 13. At 15, he became a contributor to Black Entertainment Television’s YSB magazine, and later worked as a writer/instructor at The Institute for the Preservation and Study of African American Writing. He also served as an on-air personality for WTTG Fox 5’s Newsbag. (1986-1987), and later as one of the founding cast members of Black Entertainment Television’s Teen Summit(1989-1993). By the time he graduated from Morehouse College in 1997, his journalism had appeared in VIBE, Essence, The Village Voice, Upscale, The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union Tribune, and The Atlanta Tribune.
But creative writing has always been Jasper’s true love. He penned his first novel, Dark, at the age of 21. It has since been released in the United Kingdom and translated into French. His second novel, Dakota Grand, which was loosely based on his career as a journalist in the music industry, was published in September of 2002 and met praise from The Detroit Free Press, The Chicago Sun-Times, KING and Africana.com among many others. The House on Childress Street, a memoir about his grandfather, Jesse Langley, Sr., received praise from USA Today, the City Paper, and Library Journal. He is also co-editor of Beats, Rhymes and Life, a collection of critical writings on hip-hop culture published by Broadway Books in 2007.
Mr. Jasper has contributed articles and essays to Newsweek, The Village Voice, KING, XXL, and National Public Radio. He currently serves as editorial director of The Other Place Media.