New Book Release 4.2024

Ethel Ray’s world was a white world. She was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, where her family lived a life filled with marginalization, prejudice, and racism. She experienced constant comparison to whiteness—a place that held no space for her Black Southern father, William Henry Ray, or her white Swedish mother, Inga Ray.

Ethel Ray: Living in the White, Gray, and Black is a biography and coming-of-age story of Ethel and of her family’s life before, during, and after the horrific lynching of three young Black circus workers—Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie—on June 15, 1920.

This narrative is told through prose, poetry, and journal entries from an essential Black perspective that has never been heard before. Ethel Ray: Living in the White, Gray, and Black is one of those missing narratives that provides a voice for a complex experience here in the North that often is not spoken of in our schools, our halls

Author Karen F. Nance has worked as an attorney specializing in criminal defense and child support law. She is an advocate for children and adults with special needs. She also provides support to domestic and international adoptees. Karen is a licensed private investigator, a restorative justice facilitator, a mediator, and author. She is also the granddaughter of Ethel Ray Nance.

In Black Ink is a publishing arts initiative that provide opportunities for communities that have been disenfranchised historically, and continue to be presently. IBI’s cultural literacy programming mitigates the damage of economic, educational, and cultural inequities that are the result of past and current prejudice and discrimination.


Writers of African Heritage Series

IN BLACK INK 2021-2022 Events Calendar

In Black Ink (IBI) is a publishing-arts initiative that provides opportunities to communities that have been disenfranchised historically, and presently. IBI seeks to create spaces where the intergenerational stories about Minnesotans of African heritage can be...

Who Narrates Your Story?

How does a community become the narrator of their own stories? How do we craft our own images and share them with the world? Maya Angelou stated, “Never let another man create your world, he will always make it too small.” In the case of people of African descent and...

‘Mr. Rondo’s Spirit: a story of a man and his community’

According to Rondo resident, educator, and artist Ericka Dennis, most children she meets don’t know the real story of the historic Rondo neighborhood. Dennis currently works as a Family Liaison at Barack Obama Elementary School in the Summit University neighborhood....

The Women Changing the Face of Publishing

In 2009, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a Ted Talk about the danger of a single story. As a child in Nigeria, she wrote about what she had read in other stories, which primarily featured white American or British characters. Her characters were also white and drank...

Exhibits at Minnesota African American museum keep George Floyd’s spirit alive

Tina Burnside doesn't want people to think that George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police was an isolated incident. Co-founder of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery, she sees it as part of Minnesota's history of systemic racism....

Wyoming Area Creative Arts Community

Rekhet Si-Asar is a literary and visual artist, publisher, Minneapolis school psychologist and the Executive Director of In Black Ink (IBI) a statewide publishing arts initiative located in St. Paul, MN. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, South America, she grew up in New...

Black writers talk healing and the importance of shared experiences

Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks knew the value of Black publishers as both marketers and, importantly, an empowering social and cultural construct. Which is why, in 2002, she turned down a lucrative deal to stay with Harper & Row, going instead with Black...



An annual event that provides an intergenerational forum to discuss critical and relevant issues concerning the community. An issue-oriented publication is produced to accompany discussions and events. Join us for the Sankofa Series & Events 2022.


A repository of artists of African descent that contribute to and/or participate in the local publishing arts community in Minnesota. Author’s Database to Launch at the end of Spring 2021.


Elder’s Story and Archival Circles where elders gather to share stories of specific moments in time and/or accounts of their life stories.  Stories, circle time and event are videotaped and archived for the purpose of building the IBI archival library. Until it is safe to resume circles, Elder stories will be collected virtually or one on one.



Root Wisdom discusses the numinous, the mystical, and the supernatural world of the metaphysical. It represents the ancient spirituality of our common ancestors.


“Paul Rondo, a Pullman Porter, lived in the Rondo neighborhood before the Interstate 94 freeway was built in the 1960’s. Mr. Rondo tells about his life in Rondo and how it changed over time….”


Joey grew up in a historic African American neighborhood called Rondo during the 1940’s. On his weekly Saturday adventure with his grandpa, he learns about the rich cultural heritage of his community and the power of entrepreneurship. 

TOWARDS AN AFRICAN EDUCATION: Selected Writings on the Education and Development of Children of African Heritage

Kasserian Ingera, “How are the children?” The Maasai warriors of East Africa would ask this most important question of each other in passing. The question is of the highest importance because it assesses the future of the community. 

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