‘So much of my life has been decided by people who didn’t want to imagine that I would be there’ – poet Julian Randall

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you," writes Maya Angelou in her seminal work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In his award-winning debut collection, Refuse (emphasis on the first syllable, but used for its homographic ambiguity), the poet Julian Randall is beginning to tell the stories of his life, his …

DeRay Mckesson on ‘trying to tell a story about a world that we haven’t seen but that we know is possible’

  On this episode, Lissa sits down with DeRay Mckesson – civil rights activist, community organizer, and now author of the book On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope. In 2014 he left his job with the Minneapolis Public Schools to join and document the protests in Ferguson Missouri, and has since …

“With each poem I had to say: how is this going to be different than the story they’re running from?” – poet Patricia Smith on her award-winning collection, ‘Incendiary Art’

"We have to figure out, not only some way to write the story, but how to draw people to the story and keep them in it," says poet and spoken word artist Patricia Smith of the work of poets in the fourth season premier of Black Market Reads - her most recent poetry collection, Incendiary …

Minnesota Book Award Finalist A. Rafael Johnson on trauma, memory, and magical realism

*Originally released April 2018 On this episode, Lissa Jones sits down with author A. Rafael Johnson to discuss  his debut novel, The Through (Jaded Ibis Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. Johnson tells us about the process of writing The Through, how he came to magical realism as genre, and …

‘The fight for justice is ongoing.’ – Dr. Artika Tyner on leadership, social justice, and education

*Originally released April 2018 Dr. Artika Tyner, educator, author, speaker and advocate, speaks with host Lissa Jones about what led her to dedicate her career to fighting for justice and empowering others to be leaders in their communities. She shares with us why she decided to focus her efforts on children, writing the book Justice Makes …

Joy Dolo, founding member of Blackout Comedy

*Originally released January 2018 In this episode, Lissa Jones speaks with Twin Cites based actress, comedian, and educator Joy Dolo of Blackout Improv. Dolo is a founding member of Blackout, Minnesota’s first and only all-Black improv ensemble whose performances use sketch comedy, improv, and stand-up to tackle current events, race, and social justice issues. Listen: …

Race and Policing with Duchess Harris, JD, PhD

*Originally released August 2017 Author and Historian Duchess Harris returns to Black Market Reads, this time to speak with host Lissa Jones about her newest book Race and Policing, as well as a newly announced multi-book Duchess Harris Collection from Abdo Publishing. Duchess and Lissa discuss the complex history of race, policing, and force in america. …

Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati, Professor Emeritus American Studies at Macalester College

*Originally released June 2017 Listen: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/5486278 A frequent contributor to the opinion pages of both Twin Cities dailies as well as the local Black press, Dr. Mahmoud El-Kati has published dozens of monographs and pamphlets, and has appeared on Minnesota Public Radio, and at a host of community-based conferences and events. From 1970 to 2003, Professor …

A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota with Carolyn Holbrook and David Lawrence Grant

*Originally released June 2017 We are joined by Minnesota writers Carolyn Holbrook and David Lawrence Grant to discuss the creative process and how the past informs their work and activism. Holbrook and Grant each contributed an essay to the collection A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota which was published by Minnesota Historical Society Press …