Walidah Imarisha

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Walidah Imarisha

Walidah Imarisha headshot by Pete Shaw

Walidah Imarisha is an educator, writer, public scholar and poet. She is the co-editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements. Imarisha is also the author of Angels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison and Redemption, which won a 2017 Oregon Book Award, and the poetry collection Scars/Stars. She spent 6 years with Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project as a public scholar facilitating programs across the state about Oregon Black history. Imarisha has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford University.
Walidah is available for a number of different kinds of presentations, programs, and workshops.

Angels with Dirty Faces

Angels with Dirty Faces coverAngels with Dirty Faces: Three Stories of Crime, Prison, and Redemption is no romanticized tale of crime and punishment. The three lives presented in this work of creative nonfiction are united by the presence of actual harm and sometimes horrific violence. Imarisha, dealing with the complexities of her own experience with sexual assault and accountability, brings us behind prison walls to visit her adopted brother Kakamia and his fellow inmate Jimmy “Mac” McElroy, a member of the brutal Irish gang “The Westies.” Together they explore the questions: What happens when people do unimaginable damage to one another? What do we as a society do? What might redemption look like? Imarisha is touring with the book, doing public readings, presentations and workshops.
Order the book from AK Press!

Octavia's Brood

Octavia's Brood coverOctavia's Brood is an anthology of radical science & speculative fiction written by organizers & activists. Learn more about this project here.

Oregon Black History

Walidah speaking to a crowd in a meeting roomHave you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state — a history that is not taught in schools. Author and educator Walidah Imarisha leads participants through an interactive timeline of Black history in Oregon that speaks to the history of race, identity and power in this state and the nation.