In Black Ink

A nonprofit organization

IN BLACK INK Capture & Archive the Stories - Changing the Minnesota Single Narrative of people of African heritage- Enriching our Landscape

About our Elders' stories ... (Video)

Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III reading Mr. Rondo's Spirit - A Man and his Community at the African American Heritage Museum and Gallery. (Video)


In Black Ink (IBI) is a publishing arts initiative that seeks to create inter-generational literature about people of African descent in Minnesota. We seek to foster a regenerative network, process, and platform for Minnesotans of African descent who are writers, authors, editors, desktop publishers, graphic artists/book illustrators, market and distribution experts. This will increase the engagement of skilled community artisans in all aspects of the industry.


In Black Ink creates spaces where the stories and voices of people of African heritage are celebrated, documented, and archived through professional development training/opportunities and public presentations.  In Black Ink provides publishing arts initiatives and opportunities to communities that have been disenfranchised historically, and continue to be presently. IBI’s cultural literacy programming mitigates the damage of economic, educational, and cultural inequities that are the result of past and current prejudice and discrimination.


In Black Ink (IBI) was founded in 2018 as a non-profit literary arts agency due to a call for equity after a yearlong, statewide assessment of publishing arts opportunities for MN African heritage literary artists.  Meeting the mandates emerging from  listening sessions, In Black Ink:

  • Records the scope of Black literary arts by creating a database of Black writers, editors, illustrators, and other publishing professionals as both a celebration of scope, and a change-making equity resource for schools, libraries, and other publishers.
  • Archives collections of books, recordings of spoken word and oral traditions, ‘zines, and other literary media by MN African heritage literary artists, to preserve the historic and continuing body of work, and to make it available to the public.
  • Shares Authentic Stories by bringing the work of MN African heritage writers into the public realm, and hiring MN Black publishing professionals in every aspect of the industry.
  • Engage broad communities with Black literary art through readings, school literary festivals, conferences, and more.

 Data reveals that MN surpasses the U.S. level of artists in the workforce, holding the highest employment concentration in book publishing in the country, at 5.2 times the 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 from the African descent community, or organizations that produce work about people of African heritage. 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 ever done of the non- profit creative sector."

Organization Data


Organization name

In Black Ink

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Community


938 Selby Avenue


651 231 6604

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