This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free, but registration is required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtually. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page to be sure you can participate in the event.
Charis welcomes Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. in conversation with London Ladd for a celebration of You So Black! Based on Theresa Wilson’s (a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.’s) beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, You So Black is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
Black is everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone—in the night sky and the fertile soil below. It’s in familial connections and invention, in hands lifted in praise and voices lifted in protest, and in hearts wide open and filled with love. Black is good.
Accompanied by powerful yet tender illustrations by award-winning illustrator London Ladd, Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. has adapted her poem, full of gorgeous lyricism and imagery, to show readers the love, joy, resilience, and universality in the beauty of Blackness.
Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. is a Grammy-nominated musical, lyrical, and theatrical alchemist, sprinkling magic like hot sauce. She is best known for her appearance on the 2019 Trumpet Awards on Bounce TV and the now viral recitation of “You So Black,” which has garnered 11 million views and counting. She has gone on to perform with the likes of Jill Scott, MC Lyte, and Jazmine Sullivan and appears on famed pianist Robert Glasper’s newest album. Theresa is from the south suburbs of Chicago but calls Atlanta home. She holds a degree in commercial music from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
London Ladd is a graduate of Syracuse University with an MFA in illustration. He uses a unique mixed media approach, combining cut paper textured with acrylic paint, tissue paper, and colored pencil to bring his diverse subjects to life. London’s artwork is steeped in intensity and emotion, a reflection of the artist himself. His hope is that You So Black will be passed down through generations, reaffirming African Americans’ strength, beauty, power, and love. His goal is to open a visual arts community center where lower-income families can create their own art. London lives in Syracuse, New York.
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Based on Theresa Wilson’s (a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.’s) beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, You So Black is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness.
Black is everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone—in the night sky and the fertile soil below.