Now that the video is available, I can share it with everyone. I had the honor of participating in a book talk with renowned author, feminist, playwright, and activist Sikivu Hutchinson. The talk was hosted by one of her students, Zorrie Petrus, a very gifted musician.
She recently released her novel Rock N’ Roll Heretic, a story about Rory Tharpe (an ode to Sister Rosetta Tharpe) who is a middle-aged rock musician facing adversity while trying to develop a successful music career in the late 1970s. I enjoyed reading the book (the imagery is amazing), and sympathized with Rory, as well as other characters who played a pivotal role in representing how deeply embedded “misogynoir” (or sexism targeted specifically at women of African descent) is in the entertainment industry (as well as everywhere else!).
Hutchinson invited me for the discussion, since our recent works featured Black female protagonists navigating the music industry. Both of our heroines are rock musicians and queer, fighting against racism, sexism, misogynoir, and addiction. Hutchinson’s heroine Rory faces every “-ism” there is, which is the reality for Black women who suffer racial, sexual, and class discrimination–and trifold curse. Ageism, however, is a problem that women of all ethnicities and races encounter.
We discussed these issues in this podcast below. I truly enjoyed speaking with Dr. Hutchinson and Zorrie, and I am amazed by the safe spaces she has created for young women of color and alternative Black girls. To learn more about Hutchinson and her work, visit http://sikivuhutchinson.com/. You can follow Zorrie Petrus on Instagram: IG @zap_2
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