Minnijean Brown Trickey and Crystal C. Mercer, moderated by Danielle A. Jackson; photographs by Ebony Blevins

Minnijean Brown Trickey has a lifelong commitment to social justice activism, including peacemaking, environmental issues, developing youth leadership, diversity education, antiracism training, cross-cultural communication, and gender advocacy. Her education includes a BSW (Indigenous Studies) and an MSW. She is one of the nine African American students who collectively resisted opposition to the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Crystal C. Mercer is an Afro-creative, textile artist, actor, activist, and author of the poetry collection A Love Story Waiting to Happen and the forthcoming children’s book From Cotton to Silk: The Magic of Black Hair. 

Danielle A. Jackson is a Memphis-born writer and the managing editor at Oxford American.

Ebony Blevins earned a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from Arkansas State University and has worked with numerous publications and marketing companies in Arkansas. 

August 25, 2020

A featured conversation from the Summer/Fall 2020 issue.

“The pandemic in the United States opened up the truth of what that nation is about. Like a volcano, truth just came pouring out. Just layers and layers and layers. I keep hearing this stuff about, well, in America, we’re exceptional. Are you kidding? I never thought that, never felt that, never even considered it. American exceptionalism? Please.”