Andrea Jenkins on The T is Not Silent and intersections of art and politics

Book cover The T is Not Silent by Andrea Jenkins, artwork Ta-coumba Aiken.

To change hearts and minds, we have to touch people’s hearts and minds. Some of the most influential changes that have happened in our society come through creative processes…, says Andrea Jenkins in response to Lissa’s question about the role of art in her political life.

Andrea Jenkins is the author of the poetry collection The T is Not Silent, New and Selected Poems, and contributor to the acclaimed anthologies A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, and Blues Vision: African American writing from Minnesota. Jenkins is also an oral historian for the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries documenting the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the upper Midwest and in the United States. She is the first openly Black transgender woman to be elected to public office in the United States. She was elected to the Minneapolis City Council in 2017, and currently serves as City Council President.

Andrea Jenkins – The T is Not Silent

Andrea Jenkins is the first Black transgender woman to be elected to public office in the United States. She was elected to the Minneapolis City Council with 73% of the vote. She is a poet, and an artist as well as a public official.

GO DEEPER

09:41 Andrea reads her poem “Creating Change” from the anthology Blues Vision. The poem was inspired by a painting by Frida Kahlo at the Walker Art Center.

Logo for the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota, the largest LGBTQ-specific archival repository in the upper Midwest.

Andrea leads Phase I of The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota Libraries, the largest LGBTQ-specific archival repository in the upper Midwest. Listen to the series. Learn more.

28:04 Andrea reads “Pure Beauty, a poem for Anaya” written for her granddaughter. The poem was inspired by an exhibition of work by John Baldessari at MoMA and was included in an essay that she wrote following her attendance at the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court.

What is Andrea Reading?

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. Read the NYT review.

Andrea Jenkins and Lissa Jones holding books. Standing in front of artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken in iDream.tv studio.
Andrea Jenkins and Lissa Jones in studio at iDream.tv

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