Blues Vision in the Classroom

Blues Vision in the Classroom

Tuesday, July 25-Wednesday, July 26 | 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. | $110

16 clock hours available upon request


“Blues Vision” in the Classroom prepares participants to have meaningful engagement with studentsthrough a deeper understanding of African American experiences and the black literary tradition in Minnesota. The two-day workshop takes “Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota” as the starting point for rigorous discussion and activities that cultivate practical strategies for using texts from the book as catalysts for change and conversation in the classroom. Educators will receive supplementary resources, strengthened relationships with colleagues and authors, clock hours, meals, and a copy of “Blues Vision” as part of this experience.

Customized Workshops

The Minnesota Humanities Center partners with school districts to offer this two-day workshop for groups of 20-40 educators. Fees apply. Please contact Eden Bart, 651-772-4261, for more information.

About the Book

Edited by Alexs Pate with co-editors Pamela R. Fletcher and J. Otis Powell‽

Co-published with the Minnesota Historical Society Press, which was made possible in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2004.

A surprising and compelling anthology that reveals complex realities — beautiful, infuriating, painful, and uplifting — as described by African American writers in Minnesota over the past century.

A rich Minnesota literary tradition is brought into the spotlight in this groundbreaking collection of incisive prose and powerful poetry by 43 black writers who educate, inspire, and reveal the unabashed truth.

Historically significant figures tell their stories, demonstrating how much and how little conditions have changed: Gordon Parks hitchhikes to Bemidji, Taylor Gordon describes his first day as a chauffeur in St. Paul, and Nellie Stone Johnson insists on escaping the farm for high school in Minneapolis. A profusion of modern voices— poet Tish Jones, playwright Kim Hines, and memoirist Frank Wilderson— reflect the dizzying, complex realities of the present.

Showcasing the unique vision and reality of Minnesota’s African American community from the Harlem renaissance through the civil rights movement, from the black power movement to the era of hip- hop and the time of America’s first black president, this compelling anthology provides an explosion of artistic expression about what it means to be a Minnesotan.

Blues Vision captures the rich history of African Americans living in Minnesota, with each writer sharing an honest perspective on what it means to be black here. The stories may seem to rhyme, but their diversity defines what’s best about our great state.” — Congressman Keith Ellison

Order the Book

$18.95 paperback, available from Minnesota Historical Society Press

304 pages, 6 x 9, 7 b/w illustrations

ISBN: 978-0-87351-973-1

$9.99 E-book
Available February 2015 from your favorite e-book vendor
ISBN: 978-0-87351-974-8

Also available on amazon,, and Powell’s.