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Givens Foundation | Black Market Reads

Black Market Reads is a menu for Black literary consumption and all of its spin-offs. Featuring Black artists who love to read and write and engage in arts and culture.

To listen to episodes and find great additional content about our authors and their work, visit our website (

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PRODUCER: The Givens Foundation for African American Literature

SEASON TWO - FOUR: Hosted by Lissa Jones

SEASON ONE: BMR was originated by Tana Hargest on behalf of The Givens Foundation, HOSTED BY Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus of Free Black Dirt, and other guest hosts as introduced, MUSIC: Sarah White - Through People [M¥K Remix]

Black Market Reads is made possible through the generous support of our individual donors, Target Foundation, and the voters of Minnesota, through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

For more information about the Givens Foundation, visit their website. (

Nov 9, 2018

Education, justice, innocence, and public policy on this very special episode.

First, Lissa speaks with civil right activist, and now author, DeRay Mckesson about his new book On the Other Side of Freedom: the Case for Hope. Then we revisit our interviews with Dr. Artika Tyner and Alexs Pate discussing their work toward greater equity and justice in education.


(0:00) DeRay Mckesson became a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter movement during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, MO when he used social media to document and share with the world what was happening there. He is a civil rights activist and community organizer advocating for victims of police violence and an end to mass incarceration. Mckesson is the co-founder of Campaign Zero – a policy platform to end police violence – and is the host of the award-winning podcast Pod Save the People. He has been named one of Time magazine’s 30 most influential people on the Internet and was #11 on Fortune magazine’s world’s greatest leaders list. This episode was recorded at Shir Tikva Synagogue in Minneapolis.

(16:13) Dr. Artika Tyner is an educator, advocate and author of several books for adults and children, including The Leader's Journey and Justice Makes a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire. In this excerpt she discusses how her early career as a K-12 educator, and the deep disparities she encountered there, inspired her to become a civil rights attorney. She also reads from her children's book, Justice Makes a Difference, and teaches us about the great Paul Robeson.

(32:13) Alexs Pate is the author of many books, including Amistad and Losing Absalom, he also edited the 2015 anthology Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. In this excerpt he reads a piece from his newest work for children, Being You, and describes his project Innocent Classroom which focuses on shifting the paradigm in K-12 education to one in which black children are seen as innocent.