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Derecho makes for a silver lining in Des Moines author's children's book

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Des Moines-based author and advocate Abena Imhotep seeks to promote literacy and lifelong learning in her community by celebrating works by Black authors.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Imhotep about how she has channeled her work into the Sankofa Literary & Empowerment Group and the Sankofa Literary Academy, an after-school program in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools.

Imhotep also recently accomplished a lifelong dream with the publication of her children's book Omari's Big Tree and the Mighty Djembe, a story rooted, not in trauma, but in community, friendship and what a child literally has in their hands, though it is nothing compared to what they have in their heart.

Nebbe also talks with Cedar Rapids radio show host and actor Ricky Bartlett, who had his second leg amputated this year after a flesh-eating disease nearly killed him in 2014. Bartlett shares how he's overcome these circumstances and has positively influenced listeners with his on-air candor, and how he seeks to push himself to new goals as a bilateral amputee.


  • Ricky Bartlett, morning show host, KMRY 93.1 FM
  • Abena Sankofa Imhotep, author, executive director, Sankofa Literary and Empowerment Group
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.