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Inside The Blanket Fort - Episode 163

Inside the Blanket Fort
SIU Press
SIU Press
Inside The Blanket Fort - Episode 163 (2/22/24)

Journey back Inside The Blanket Fort as we continue exploring some of the books that SIU Press is promoting for Black History Month.

As the first African American elected to the Illinois general assembly, John W. E. Thomas was the recognized leader of the state’s African American community for nearly twenty years and laid the groundwork for the success of future Black leaders in Chicago politics. Despite his pivotal role in Illinois history, Thomas’s life and career have been long forgotten by historians and the public alike. From Slave to State Legislator: John W. E. Thomas, Illinois' First African American Lawmaker, by David A. Joens, is the first full-length biography to address the full influence of Thomas or any Black politician from Illinois during the Reconstruction Era. This book is also a pioneering effort to explain the dynamics of African American politics and divisions within the Black community in post–Civil War Chicago.

Mandi is the Publications Editor for SIU Press. She is also the author of six published novels, two short fiction collections, and numerous short stories. She earned her BA and MFA in creative writing from SIU , and during her MFA studies, she worked as a producer, senior editor, and voice actor for the first season of Blanket Fort Radio Theater, A Knight of Another Sort.
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