UMN professor of African American and African Studies, Terrion L. Williamson has edited an anthology, Black in the Middle (Belt Publishing), which brings the voices of Black Midwesterners front and center. Filled with compelling narratives, thought-provoking analyses, and impactful commentaries, this anthology explores the various meanings and experiences of blackness throughout the Rust Belt. Bringing together people from major metropolitan centers like Detroit and Chicago as well as smaller cities and rural areas where the lives of Black residents have too often gone unacknowledged, this collection is a much-needed corrective to the narrative of the region.
With a foreword by St. Louis-based scholar and activist Jamala Rogers, contributors include Cleveland, Ohio poet and writer Kisha Nicole Foster, UMN professor and ethnographer Zenzele Isoke, public scholar Michelle S. Johnson, Detroit storyteller Courtney Wise Randolph, Melissa N. Stuckey, filmmaker Jeffrey C. Wray, and others.
Publishers Weekly says of Black in the Middle, "Timely and evocative.... By calling forth the full range of the Black Midwestern experience, this bracing anthology offers crucial insights into why the region is the epicenter of current protests against police brutality and racial injustice."
Terrion L. Williamson is also the director of the Black Midwest Initiative. A native of Peoria, she is author of Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life. She lives in Minneapolis.