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St. Paul & Online – Minnesota Writers Series: Through the Banks of the Red Cedar

February 24 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CST


Join us for the February 2024 edition of the Minnesota Writers Series as we welcome multidisciplinary artist, Maya Washington, who will discuss her documentary film, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar,” and memoir, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar: My Father and the Team that Changed the Game.” Through film clips, book readings, and conversation, Maya will highlight her bond with and appreciation for her father, Gene Washington, a celebrated professional athlete who came of age during the peak of the civil rights movement. Maya will be joined by noted author and educator, Dr. Artika Tyner, who will moderate the discussion.

Maya Washington will be available for book signing and conversation after the event. “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar: My Father and the Team that Changed the Game,” will be available for purchase at the event.

About the Book
“Through the Banks of the Red Cedar” follows Maya Washington’s path towards understanding the legacy of her father, Gene Washington. Maya retraces her father’s journey from the segregated south to Michigan State University during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and his journey as a groundbreaking NFL player after the 1967 draft. Through the memoir, Maya reflects on the influence her father’s childhood had on her upbringing, the emotional bond of teammates and friends, and the deepened connection she has to her family and football.

About the Author
Maya Washington is an award-winning, multi-hyphenate artist: writer, poet, director, narrative and documentary filmmaker (writer/director/producer), actress, creative director, visualist (photography), and arts educator. Her background, on stage/camera and behind the scenes, has given her the opportunity to work on everything from public art, live theatre, commercials and print ads, to web series, films and television. Maya received a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. As a writer, Maya’s poetry and prose have been featured in a number of literary journals and notable anthologies including “The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2 : Black Girl Magic” (Haymarket Books 2018), “Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: Black Voices on Activism, Resistance and Love” (Justice Matters Press, 2018), and “The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century” (2Leaf Press, 2017). Additionally, Maya received a Pushcart nomination from The Under Review literary journal for her poetry inspired by the historic MLK Tennis Buffs of St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood. She is the editor of “White Space Poetry Anthology” featuring the work of deaf and hearing poets as a companion to her award-winning short film starring Ryan Lane, “White Space.” Her award-winning film, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar,” about her father Vikings Legend Gene Washington and the desegregation of college football aired on the Big Ten Network and is currently available on PBS platforms. Her memoir, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar: My Father and the Team that Changed the Game,” is an Amazon Editor’s pick for Best History, and was a 2023 Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. As a freelance tv and film director, Maya has directed episodes of the Fox series “The Killer Next Door,” History Channel’s “I Was There,” and the PBS Kids series “Black SciGirls.”

Besides being her first memoir, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar: My Father and the Team that Changed the Game” is also a documentary, “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar,” directed, produced, and written by Maya. The documentary is available on PBS platforms including PBS Documentaries Channel through Amazon Prime, Comcast, and iTunes. The film has been shown at community screenings and film festivals across the country. A curriculum for communities and educators is available at throughthebanksoftheredcedar.com.

About the Moderator
Advocate, attorney, author, and educator Dr. Artika Tyner is committed to creating a more inclusive and racially and economically just world. She received her BA from Hamline University and her JD, Master of Public Policy, and EdD from the University of St. Thomas. A prolific author, Dr. Tyner has written books for children and adults promoting literacy, cultural awareness, and leadership development. She is the founder and director of the nonprofit Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute.


This free event will be in-person with an option to attend virtually via Zoom. Registration required. Captioning will be available for those attending virtually.

Registration Questions: registrations@mnhum.org

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February 24
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CST
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Colin Nelson-Dusek


Minnesota Humanities Event Center
987 Ivy Avenue East
Saint Paul, MN 55106 United States
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