Francesca Royster and Hanif Abdurraqib for BLACK COUNTRY MUSIC

Loyalty is delighted to host Francesca Royster and Hanif Abdurraqib for a virtual celebration of Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions! This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice. You can also order the book below to be automatically added to the event's registration list. Donations will go to the Chicago Freedom School. There will also be an option to snag the book during the event.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After a century of racist whitewashing, country music is finally reckoning with its relationship to Black people. In this timely work—the first book on Black country music by a Black writer—Francesca Royster uncovers the Black performers and fans, including herself, who are exploring the pleasures and possibilities of the genre.

Informed by queer theory and Black feminist scholarship, Royster’s book elucidates the roots of the current moment found in records like Tina Turner’s first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On! She reckons with Black “bros” Charley Pride and Darius Rucker, then chases ghosts into the future with Valerie June. Indeed, it is the imagination of Royster and her artists that make this music so exciting for a genre that has long been obsessed with the past. The futures conjured by June and others can be melancholy, and are not free of racism, but by centering Black folk Royster begins to understand what her daughter hears in the banjo music of Our Native Daughters and the trap beat of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” A Black person claiming country music may still feel a bit like a queer person coming out, but, collectively, Black artists and fans are changing what country music looks and sounds like—and who gets to love it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Francesca T. Royster is a professor of English at DePaul University, author of Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era and Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon, and coeditor of “Uncharted Country,” a special issue of the Journal of Popular Music Studies on race and country music.

ABOUT THE IN CONVERSATION PARTNER

Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer from the east side of Columbus, Ohio.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions (American Music Series) By Francesca T. Royster Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781477326497
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press - October 4th, 2022

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Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance By Francesca T. Royster Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781419756177
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Abrams Press - February 7th, 2023

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Introduction by), Jason Reynolds (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Introduction by), Jason Reynolds (Afterword by)
$26.00
ISBN: 9781953387271
Availability: Not In Store - Available to Special Order
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 15th, 2022

A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781984801203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 8th, 2022

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (American Music Series) By Hanif Abdurraqib Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: Not In Store - Available to Special Order
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019