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Big Girl: Mecca Jamilah Sullivan in conversation with Regina N. Bradley

Event date: 
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free, but registration is requested if you choose to attend in person, and required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtually. Click here to register to attend in person. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page to be sure you can participate in the event.

Charis welcomes Mecca Jamilah Sullivan in conversation with Regina N. Bradley for a celebration of Big Girl. Exquisitely compassionate and witty, Big Girl traces the intergenerational hungers and desires of Black womanhood, as told through the unforgettable voice of Malaya Clondon.

In her highly anticipated debut novel, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan explores the perils—and undeniable beauty—of insatiable longing.

Growing up in a rapidly changing Harlem, eight-year-old Malaya hates when her mother drags her to Weight Watchers meetings; she’d rather paint alone in her bedroom or enjoy forbidden street foods with her father. For Malaya, the pressures of her predominantly white Upper East Side prep school are relentless, as are the expectations passed down from her painfully proper mother and sharp-tongued grandmother. As she comes of age in the 1990s, she finds solace in the music of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, but her weight continues to climb—until a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger, ultimately shattering her inherited stigmas surrounding women’s bodies, and embracing her own desire. Written with vibrant lyricism shot through with tenderness, Big Girl announces Sullivan as an urgent and vital voice in contemporary fiction.

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Ph.D. is the author of the novel Big Girl (W.W. Norton & Co./ Liveright)  a 2022 most anticipated pick fromVultureMs, Goodreads and SheReads.com. Her previous books are  The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (University of Illinois Press, 2021), and the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (2015), winner of the Judith Markowitz Award for Fiction from Lambda Literary. She is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. A native of Harlem, she currently lives in Washington, DC. 

Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University and an assistant professor of English and African diaspora studies at Kennesaw State University. She is the author of Boondock Kollage; Stories from the Hip Hop SouthChronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South, and editor of the anthology, An Outkast Reader: Essays of Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage 

In-person event guidelines: 

  • RSVP is strongly recommended.
  • All attendees must wear a face mask at all times
  • Tickets are limited to restrict capacity and preference will be given to ticket holders.
  • We will begin seating people at 7 pm ET.
  • Additional copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
  • Home address is collected for contact tracing purposes.
  • This event will be live-streamed via crowdcast. Click here to register to attend virtually.
  • As a reminder: If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the event.
  • If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or to request specific accessibility accommodations, please contact info@charisbooksandmore.com or call the store at 404-524-0304

If you would like to watch the virtual event with computer-generated captions, please watch in Google Chrome and enable captions. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we continue to connect across distances.

By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
A Charis Hybrid (in-person + virtual) Event
184 S. Candler St.
Decatur, GA 30030
Big Girl: A Novel By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781324091417
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - July 12th, 2022

A Phenomenal Book Club Pick
TIME • Best Books of the Month
Vulture • Most Anticipated Books 2022
Goodreads • Hot and Fresh: 60 Highly Anticipated Debut Novels
Ms. Magazine • Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us 2022
SheReads.com • Best Books Coming in Summer 2022
Essence • 18 New Books We Can’t Wait To Read This Summer


The Poetics of Difference: Queer Feminist Forms in the African Diaspora (New Black Studies Series) By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Cover Image
$29.84
ISBN: 9780252086038
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Illinois Press - October 12th, 2021

From Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, and Bessie Head, to Zanele Muholi, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Missy Elliott, Black women writers and artists across the African Diaspora have developed nuanced and complex creative forms. Mecca Jamilah Sullivan ventures into the unexplored spaces of black women’s queer creative theorizing to learn its languages and read the textures of its forms.


Blue Talk and Love By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781626011625
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverdale Avenue Books - March 18th, 2015


Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South By Regina Bradley Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781469661964
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of North Carolina Press - February 22nd, 2021

This vibrant book pulses with the beats of a new American South, probing the ways music, literature, and film have remixed southern identities for a post-civil rights generation. For scholar and critic Regina N.


Boondock Kollage; Stories from the Hip Hop South (Black Studies and Critical Thinking #102) By Regina N. Bradley Cover Image
$56.64
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781433133039
Published: Peter Lang Us - April 27th, 2017

Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South is a collection of twelve short stories that addresses issues of race, place, and identity in the post-Civil Rights American South. Using historical, spectral, and hip hop infused fiction, Boondock Kollage critically engages readers to question the intersections of regionalism and black culture in current American society.


An Outkast Reader: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Postmodern South (Music of the American South #4) By Regina N. Bradley (Editor), Fredara Hadley (Contribution by), Michelle Hite (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Regina N. Bradley (Editor), Fredara Hadley (Contribution by), Michelle Hite (Contribution by)
$29.95
ISBN: 9780820360133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - October 1st, 2021

OutKast, the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo formed in 1992, is one of the most influential musical groups within American popular culture of the past twenty-five years.


Event Summary: 
Exquisitely compassionate and witty, Big Girl traces the intergenerational hungers and desires of Black womanhood, as told through the unforgettable voice of Malaya Clondon.