VIDEO: “Art can be liberating, art is redemptive, and art is healing,” Ibi Zoboi and Dr. Yusef Salaam on their YA novel-in-verse Punching the Air

"Hope is the thing that drives us forward," says Dr. Yusuf Salaam of naming his novel's main character Amal, which means hope. "Because without hope we wouldn't see a positive future, we wouldn't imagine the opportunity to change the criminal justice system from the criminal system of injustice to the criminal justice system." Dr. Salaam …

“Change comes one at a time” – author Claudia Rankine on her latest work, Just Us: An American Conversation

Launching the sixth season of BMR, Lissa sits down with poet and essayist Claudia Rankine to dive into her latest work Just Us: An American Conversation (Graywolf Press, 2020). Rankine describes the book as the result of a challenge she set to herself to talk to white men - a group she rarely talks to …

Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify: Author Carolyn Holbrook on her new book

"For me, the title of the book is about testifying on behalf of myself, my family, my children and adding to the conversation about the beauty of our people," says Carolyn Holbrook about her newly released collection of essays, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). In this episode, …

From Generosity to Justice: Ford Foundation President Darren Walker on his new book and reimagining philanthropy for social justice

“As you read these pages, please consider these words to be an open invitation—an extended hand and an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” writes Ford Foundation President Darren Walker in his new book, From Generosity to Justice: A New Gospel of Wealth. According to Walker, embracing discomfort is a …

Watch: Conversation with Seph Rodney, Recorded Live in Partnership with the Walker Art Center

On May 21st Black Market Reads launched our first all virtual livestream event. In partnership with the Walker Art Center, The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Platform Arts and iDream.tv, Lissa spoke with Dr. Seph Rodney about the changing role of museums. Together, they discuss Rodney’s 2019 book The Personalization of the Museum Visit, …

Poet, Essayist Justin Phillip Reed on The Malevolent Volume

"Poetry is present in pretty much every culture," says Reed. "It is present across class boundaries." But, he notes, depending on those boundaries it looks and acts differently. "I think there is a way that certain kinds of poetry are rewarded as literature and therefore are given a kind of visibility that ends up reifying …

Sounds of Blackness and Mapping Black Identities – Live from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

On February 7, Black Market Reads was honored to participate in a profound and uplifting celebration of Black identity, art, and music at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). https://oembed.libsyn.com/embed?item_id=13070933 In part one of this episode, which was recorded in the galleries of the MIA, Lissa speaks with Esther Callahan (Curatorial Affairs Fellow - contemporary …

Dr. William D. Green: “The easiest way to lose the soul of one’s achievements is to become complacent.”

In this episode of Black Market Reads, Lissa speaks with historian and educator Dr. William D. Green to discuss his works on the history of race and civil rights in Minnesota. Dr. Green is a professor of history at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, and serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Historical society. He is …

Author J. Drew Lanham on his memoir The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, featuring guest host Michael Kleber-Diggs

In this episode we are pleased to share an interview featuring J. Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions, 2016), in conversation with guest host Michael Kleber-Diggs. The interview was recorded at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis in 2017. J. Drew Lanham is …