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Season 4

Episode 35: “Words as Worlds”: a conversation with Bing Broderick of justBook-ish

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Haley House in Boston Opening view of front door

This week, we welcomed Bing Broderick as our guest.

Bing Broderick comes to justBook-ish after years in marketing, community organizing, and nonprofit management. Early in his career, he marketed and sold music into niche outlets across the country (including bookstores) as Director of Special Marketing for the Cambridge-based record label, Rounder Records. Mid-career, Broderick shifted his focus to food justice, arriving at the Boston-based nonprofit Haley House to manage the newly launched social enterprise Haley House Bakery Café. Located in Nubian Square, Roxbury, the Café; provided hearty heathy food, a vital community space, and a workplace for men and women who faced significant barriers to employment. In December 2013, Broderick succeeded Haley House‘s founder as Executive Director of the non-profit organization, stewarding (in addition to the cafe) its soup kitchen, food pantry, housing, farm and educational programs. Bing transitioned out of this role in April 2022, having welcomed Haley House‘s new Executive Director, Reggie Jean. He will be opening justBook-ish in Dorchester with co-founder, Porsha Olayiwola, in Summer 2024.

We talk about his past and present projects, the history of Haley House, poetry slams, the business of running a bookstore, and his experience at Rounder Records.

For books, we discuss Bing’s reading of Morgenthau: Power, Privilege, and the Rise of an American Dynasty by Andrew Meier.

Lionel talks about reading Ulysses S. Grant: A Biography by Robert P. Broadwater and The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal

We touch on Oppenheimer and Maestro, which Lionel asserts are variations on the same movie.

Bing says he read In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson.

In our discussion of Rounder Records, we mention a startup called Hear Music. The Wikipedia article omits most of its early history, but it was originally a music catalog that was eventually bought out by Starbucks.

During his time at Rounder, Bing met Iris Dement who was on the label for a number of years.

We end with a discussion of the summertime opening of justBook-ish in Fields Corner in Dorchester, MA.