Dorothy Boulware ’82
When English major, Dorothy Boulware, ‘82, traversed Coppin’s campus, Grace Jacobs and the Tawes Center were the new additions; and the campus was a hotbed for student-centered happenings. Every Friday the students gathered at noon for some type of activity, a dance, step show or food. “It was great for camaraderie. Greek life was exciting, although I wasn’t a participant. Everyone felt they belonged,” recalled Dorothy. But she was only able to participate sparingly. Admittedly, she was always running off campus. “I was married with four children and my husband and I both attended Coppin. I also worked full time as a fingerprint technician for the Baltimore Police Department.” Dorothy fingerprinted corpses. “It was interesting, but not fun.”
How did Dorothy go from working at the morgue to becoming the editor of the Afro-American Newspaper, one of the oldest and highest-read African-American papers in the United States? “Anything I thought I was interested in, I tried it. And when a job no longer captivated my interest, I quit. And within a few days I got another. Little did I know then I was searching for my own heart’s song.” Dorothy has worked a total of 12 years and is hailed as an outstanding editor. Her dedication and loyalty to the publication and to all the employees at the newspaper is exemplary and has garnered her respect in the industry and community. “I am so honored,” said Dorothy. “The day I was hired, I was assigned a desk next to Sam Lacy, legendary sports writer and columnist for the AFRO. I became a 46-year-old groupie. The AFRO family gets to hold to a truth that rightly serves the African-American community. It’s not always pretty, but it’s real.”
Dorothy acknowledged there are challenges being an editor. “In addition to making sure the story is right, I have to match the appropriate writers to the appropriate subjects, knowing the outcome will yield a real educational and entertaining experience.” Dorothy’s experience as a project manager helps her get the job done. “I’m thrilled when the pieces come together as planned. Whether it’s a story series or a themed coverage of a special occasion.”
Dorothy is not afraid to try new things; she is eager. “I’m an author. Since I [semi] retired, I’ve written seven books, now writing number eight. I’ve also curated several books with and for other writers, many of them first timers. I was part of the AFRO project that produced, “The Thing I Love About Baltimore.”” The book is a series of hometown stories from Baltimore City residents who share their experiences, stories, passions and opinions. Dorothy has also been a Minister of Music and an “Urban Pastor.”
While at Coppin, Dorothy said she made lifelong friends, just as students are doing now. She also enjoyed her professors. But her best advice for today’s scholars is to, “Find the thing that makes your heart sing and do it until you just can’t stand it anymore.” That’s how you make your life extraordinary.