Not Such "Bad News"– A Meeting with Representative Keith Ellison

[Recently, Adam Lerner, president & publisher of Lerner Publishing Group, met with U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-MN). Below is a recounting of their meeting by Adam Lerner.]

Several weeks after we won the Coretta Scott King Author Award for Bad News for Outlaws–The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, U.S. Marshal, I mentioned it to a politically involved friend who happens to know our company’s Congressman Keith Ellison. My friend promised to call Representative Ellison’s office, and after doing so, I was invited to meet Keith. Only in his second term, Keith has made an impression in Congress for both his passion and his background, in that he is the only Muslim serving in Congress. Keith was very excited to see a copy of Bad News and was impressed not only with the book, but that it was manufactured right in his district. The majority of picture books are now produced in Asia, but at LPG we pride ourselves that 99% of our titles are printed and bound in Minnesota using paper from regional mills. Keith was very curious about Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, the author of Bad News for Outlaws, and I mentioned that Vaunda’s next title will be about her uncle who owned a bookstore in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. Keith immediately knew it was Lewis Michaux and told me how Lewis had a front row seat during a very important era in our country’s intellectual history. It was a gratifying visit, and I promised to invite Keith to join us at the Coretta Scott King Award breakfast in June, appropriately enough, in Washington D.C.