Erin Aubry Kaplan is a contributing writer to the New York Times opinion page and a former weekly op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, the first African American in the paper's history to hold the position. Kaplan first appeared in a monthly independent newsmagazine called Accent L.A., a small publication dedicated to a large mission of providing thoughtful, literate, alternative coverage of black Los Angeles. From 1987 to 1992 at Accent, Kaplan authored everything from book reviews to commentary and began developing a voice at once broadly political and deeply personal, a voice that would become something of a hallmark. She began working full-time as a journalist in 1992 for the Los Angeles Times, for a short-lived but much-heralded section called City Times that was created in the aftermath of the civil unrest to expand meaningful coverage of the central city. Kaplan essentially continued the mission begun by Accent L.A., covering the Crenshaw district, South Central and events affecting L.A.’s disparate black communities and black communities at large. Kaplan’s articles have appeared in many publications, including Ms. Magazine, UCLA Magazine, Barnard magazine, the London Independent, the Guardian,, The Crisis, Newsday, Contemporary Art Magazine, the Utne Reader and Black Enterprise. She is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista,” (2011) and “I Heart Obama” (2016).