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Festival Spotlight: Justin Ellis on the history of Black families in Minnesota

We’re highlighting our exciting schedule of conversations during MinnPost Festival. Today: Minnesota native Justin Ellis — journalist, editor and author.

Justin Ellis
Justin Ellis

On April 25-28, MinnPost Festival will bring can’t-miss conversations with national and local guests exploring important issues facing civic life in this moment.

Today, we’re spotlighting one of our featured guests, Justin Ellis. Ellis is a writer, editor and producer whose work has appeared in ESPN, The Atlantic, The New York Times and GQ. He is the projects editor for Defector, a worker-owned media company founded in 2020. His TV credits include “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas” on HBO and Jigsaw Productions “How to Fix A Drug Scandal” on Netflix.

He is currently at work on his first book, “The Cruelty of Nice Folks,” an examination of the history of Black families in Minnesota and the subtle racism that arises in seemingly progressive parts of America, for Harper.

At MinnPost Festival, Justin Ellis will be in conversation with MinnPost reporter Solomon Gustavo on the history of Black families in Minnesota and the subtle racism that arises in seemingly progressive parts of America.

You can attend the virtual session with Ellis at noon CT on April 26 — along with all of our other Festival sessions — with an all-access virtual Festival pass, available at Pay What You Can pricing (including free!). Registration is required, so make sure to reserve your pass right now.

Reserve your Festival pass >>

Interested in the VIP experience?

While virtual access will be available to Passholders for all sessions, VIP Supporters and Sponsors will have in-person access to the keynote reception and session with former HUD Sec. Julián Castro on Tuesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. CT at Quincy Hall in Minneapolis. VIPs will also have in-person access to the conversation with Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Jeremy Miller on Thursday, April 28, at 9:30 a.m. CT at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

VIP packages include an array of special perks and benefits, and most importantly, they provide even more support for MinnPost’s nonprofit newsroom.

Learn more about VIP packages >>

Whether as a VIP Supporter or a Passholder, we hope you’ll join us for this year’s edition of MinnPost Festival. Stay tuned for more additions to the schedule and check out all the details at

Special thanks to our Festival Sponsors!

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