What we do
People. Publications. Potential.
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...
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...
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....
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...
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....
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...
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.
2019 Sankofa Publication and Discussion Topic:
Towards an African Education edited by Mahmoud El-Kati
10 Community activists, scholars and elders contributed essays on education of Black/African children and people
Coffee, Tea and Other Moments Together
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.
Elder’s Writing Projects
Publication of Elders stories (include memoirs, anthologies of Minnesota Elders, and events in the state of MN)
Bobby Kofi Hickman by Kofi Hickman
Kwame by Kwame McDonald and Mitch McDonald
Drawing Down The Blessings by Jacqueline “Lady J” Maddix
Duluth Lynching Revisited by Henry Banks
Zola’s Shines by Mahmoud El-Kati (Children’s book)
A repository of artists of African descent that contribute/participate in the local and statewide publishing arts community in Minnesota.
(Projects in Development)
Rondo Children’s Book Series
In Black Ink and Rondo Avenue Inc. have partnered to transform the rich experiences of the historic Rondo community into stories that will introduce eight Rondo core values to our youth. Writers and artists with direct connections to the community were selected to research, write and share little-known stories with the wider community in the form of children’s books. These books are immersed in the lore and lessons of a neighborhood that thrived in a time of segregation and discrimination to raise healthy, successful and visionary young people.
The values that sustained Rondo and served as a firm foundation for many are the basis of which this rich book series is based upon. These values are: The importance of education, The dignity of work, Religion and faith, Home ownership, Securing economic independence, Social interaction, Hope for a better tomorrow and Respect for self and family.
The Way Opportunities Limited Inc. by Camille Maddox (In development)
Developed from the rich experiences/knowledge from cultural institutions, programs and work. Products to be marketed, distributed and reintegrated into the community.
All projects are resourced to help rising and established publishing artists primarily in the African heritage community in Minnesota. Funds raised will go towards artists primarily from the historically disenfranchised community members of African descent and to artists in that geographic region or area of the project’s initiation. For example, if we are producing a project on the lynching in Duluth, MN in 1920, then the primary writer and/or researcher should come from Duluth and should be of African descent. Other supporting editors, desktop designers and graphic designers will be sought there first before moving to other areas.
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938 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104