Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983. He is the host of “The Salim Muwakkil” show on WVON, Chicago’s historic black radio station, and he wrote the text for the book HAROLD: Photographs from the Harold Washington Years.
As an editor for In These Times for more than 25 years, Salim Muwakkil has forged a reputation as one of the country’s most insightful writers on issues of African-American culture and politics.
Muwakkil started his journalism career as reporter for the Associated Press in Newark, New Jersey shortly before graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Political Science. He soon moved on to become a copy editor and then managing editor at Muhammad Speaks-Bilalian News, the largest black-owned publication in the country.
Upon moving to Chicago, Muwakkil joined In These Times’ staff and became a contributing columnist to both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Muwakkil has also written for the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Progressive, Newsday, Cineaste, Chicago Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Z Magazine, the Toronto Star, Emerge Magazine, The Black Scholar, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Utne Reader.
Muwakkil is a frequent contributor to “Chicago Tonight” and “Beyond the Beltway,” two Chicago-based public affairs programs.
Muwakkil has won a variety of journalism awards including the “Top Ten Media Heroes of 1994,” from the Institute of Alternative Journalism, the “Black Rose Achievement Award for 1997,” from the League of Black Women, the 2001 Studs Terkel Award for Journalistic Excellence from the Chicago-based Community Media Workshop and the 2004 Lillian Award for Excellence in Journalism, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
He was also a Crime and Communities Media Fellow of the Open Society Institute.
In his spare time, Muwakkil serves as a board member for the Progressive Media Project and the Chicago-based Public Square. He has been a faculty member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest’s Urban Studies Program, and an adjunct professor at Columbia College, Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
We Are In the Midst of a Black Power Renaissance
Under Trump, we are seeing a return to collective Black consciousness. MORE
Views · July 13, 2017
This Could Be Reparations’ Best Chance Since 1865
Black activist groups across the political spectrum are uniting behind reparations. MORE
Views · April 21, 2017
Reflections on Barack Obama: A Great and Disappointing President
Hope, change and the limits of the office. MORE
Culture · January 16, 2017
“Identity Politics” Takes a Hit
After the election, many on the Black Left are once again grappling with the "race vs. class" debate. MORE
Views · January 2, 2017
A Former Nation of Islam Activist Looks Back on Muhammad Ali
From a bout in Jamaica to an Air Force base in Germany to the streets of Chicago, Ali's presence was massive. MORE
Views · June 8, 2016
The Paradox of Bernie Sanders and the Black Voter
Despite Sanders' historic election, we still don’t seem any closer to resolving the rancorous intra-left debates about race and class. MORE
Views · April 12, 2016
In No Uncertain Terms, U.N. Calls Out U.S. for Lack of Reparations to African-Americans
40 acres and a mule won't cut it MORE
Views · March 15, 2016
Not Your Grandfather’s Black Freedom Movement: An Interview with BYP100’s Charlene Carruthers
The 30-year-old radical black queer feminist who's Rahm Emanuel's worst nightmare MORE
Features · February 8, 2016
The Newspaper That Transformed Black America—And The Course of History
How an ambitious migrant came to Chicago and changed history with the power of journalism MORE
Views · January 20, 2016
20 Years After the Million Man March, Louis Farrakhan Can Still Draw A Crowd—And Make Media Uneasy
The 82-year old Nation of Islam leader filled the National Mall in October. Why didn't the media take much notice? MORE
Views · November 4, 2015