About Us

In Black Ink creates spaces where the stories and voices of people of African heritage is celebrated, documented and archived through publications, professional development trainings/opportunities, and public presentations.
Why is IBI necessary?
Only four percent of all books published in the US are about people of Arfican heritage (Lee & Low, 2015), with very few publishers of African Heritage nationally. Based on preliminary research of the local statewide publishing industry, there have been no publishing houses owned or ran by people of African heritage from 1817 to 1990 (D. Joyce, 1991); & no documented agencies in the last 20 years since. A survey of 70 publishers in the US and Canada , including Penguin Random House, and Macmillan (two of the top 5 in the nation) found that the publishing agencies re primarily run by people of European heritage, with 2% nationwide people of African Heritage in the leadership. Despite agreements to diversify the publishing world, over 20 years later, the industry still looks very similar. Creative MN (2015) provided “the most comprehensive report of the non-profit creative sector.” Data reveals that MN surpasses the U.S. level of artist in the work force, holding the highest employment concentration in the book publishing in the country, at 5.2 times he national average. This is very exciting, indicating the viability of our local industry; but it is also quite sad, as there is little to no representation of organizations and individuals from the African descent community, or organizations that produce work about people of African heritage.
In Black Ink’s Name and History
In Black Ink was named by Rondo Poet Laureate Tish Jones. Sister Tish came up with the name in a brainstorming session at the Minnesota Regenerative Publishing Project retreat in 2016. The name In Black Ink invokes the spirit of IBI’s mission to help develop and support the African heritage community in Minnesota in the publishing arts industry. From building the capacity In Black people to create their own businesses to supporting artists, authors and regenerative wealth creation In Black communities, IBI is a different type of institution that fills the gap between the community and their vision. IBI was established as a non-profit 501 c 3 charitable institution.
First 2 Rondo Children’s story books on display at Hallie Q. Brown

More on the Minnesota Regenerative Publishing Project

The Publishing Project’s Purpose was to plan how to consistently publish and distribute the stories of Minnesotans of African descent and their community knowledge on a consistent basis. A group of over 20 inter-generational consultants from throughout the community came together to discuss strategies to fulfill this purpose. One key idea was to create an institution that could support the publishing arts professions and industry within the African-American, Black or African heritage community in Minnesota. This support would include 1) accesing the funds from the State, foundations, other grant living organizations and social enterprising efforts to support publishing initiatives, 2) creating databases of works created by Blacks in Minnesota and of Black publishing professionals and 3) provide opportunities for publishing artist to enhance their skills and knowledge in their areas of interest.

Download the full PDF report.

Rekhet Si-Asar, Ed.S, MA
Executive Director

Rekhet was a publisher at Papyrus Publishing Inc., Brooklyn Park MN before coming to In Black Ink. She is a school psychologist for the Minneapolis Public Schools and is a volunteer coordinator/instructor at the Imhotep Science Acedemy, K-8 Cultural STEM program in St.Paul, MN. She currently is the Board chair for the Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis, MN. She is married and has three children and is a fashion illustrator and designer. Rekhet comes to Minnesota via Brooklyn, New York and Georgetown, Guyana her birthplace.

Mayor Melvin Carter visit and supporting local arts organizations at the Walker West Music Center – Revealing of Artist – Ta Cuomba Tyrone Aikens murals.
Mayor Carter sharing Rondo stories with the babies at MAAHMG Reading Circle.
Local videographers – Adrian Mack and Sherine Crooms Onukwuwe.
Artika Tyner and Rekhet Si -Asar celebrating release of Rondo Children’s Book Series.
Jamela Pettiford singing at the Rondo Children’s Books release.
Writing workshop held with Black Table Arts at the High School for Recording Arts for the community.

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938 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
(651) 231-6604

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