Tuesday, 7:30 pm EDT July 7, 2020
We’re very excited to host two of the dopest and talented creators working today, Shayla Lawson and Phoebe Robinson (cohost of 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams) to celebrate the release of Shayla’s new essay collection, This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope. The book is a unique mix of Shayla’s personal stories, pop culture observations, and insights into politics and history, and sheds fascinating light on the many ways black women and girls have influenced mainstream culture—from their style, to their language, and even their art—and how that mainstream culture has ultimately shortchanged them.
“A hilarious, heartbreaking, and endlessly entertaining homage to black women’s resilience and excellence.” —Kirkus Reviews
Shayla Lawson is the author of three books of poetry—A Speed Education in Human Being, the chapbook Pantone, and I Think I’m Ready to See Frank Ocean. She was born in Rochester, Minnesota, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, studied architecture in Italy and spent a few years as a Dutch housewife—milkmaid braids and all. She teaches at Amherst College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Phoebe Robinson is a multi-talented standup comedian, NYT best-selling author, and actress. She is best known as the co-creator and co-star of the hit podcast turned TV show 2 Dope Queens, which aired eight hour-long specials on HBO in February 2018 and 2019. Robinson recently inked an overall deal with ABC Studios to launch a production company, Tiny Reparations. Her first project under Tiny Reparations is hosting and executive producing a 10-episode interview-based series launching on Comedy Central. On her second WNYC Studios podcast, the critically-acclaimed talk show Sooo Many White Guys, Phoebe interviews today’s biggest stars and ground breakers such as Tom Hanks, Issa Rae, Abbi Jacobson, and many more. Phoebe is also making her presence known in publishing as she is the author of the New York Times best seller You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain, a collection of essays about race, gender and pop culture. Her second book, Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay was released fall 2018. Phoebe made her feature film debut as one of the stars of the Netflix comedy Ibiza and followed that up by acting alongside Taraji P. Henson in the Paramount film What Men Want. She was also a staff writer on MTV’s hit talking head show, Girl Code and IFC’s Portlandia, as well as was a consultant on season three of Broad City.
This Is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls, and Being Dope
By Shayla Lawson
Published by Harper Perennial
Shayla Lawson is major. You don’t know who she is. Yet. But that’s okay. She is on a mission to move black girls like herself from best supporting actress to a starring role in the major narrative. Whether she’s taking on workplace microaggressions or upending racist stereotypes about her home state of Kentucky, she looks for the side of the story that isn’t always told, the places where the voices of black girls haven’t been heard.
The essays in This is Major ask questions like: Why are black women invisible to AI? What is “black girl magic”? Or: Am I one viral tweet away from becoming Twitter famous? And: How much magic does it take to land a Tinder date?
With a unique mix of personal stories, pop culture observations, and insights into politics and history, Lawson sheds light on these questions, as well as the many ways black women and girls have influenced mainstream culture–from their style, to their language, and even their art–and how “major” they really are.
Timely, enlightening, and wickedly sharp, This Is Major places black women at the center–no longer silenced, no longer the minority.
Everything's Trash, But It's Okay
By Phoebe Robinson
Published by Plume Books
Written in her trademark unfiltered and witty style, Robinson’s latest collection is a call to arms. Outfitted with on-point pop culture references, these essays tackle a wide range of topics: giving feminism a tough-love talk on intersectionality, telling society’s beauty standards to kick rocks, and calling foul on our culture’s obsession with work. Robinson also gets personal, exploring money problems she’s hidden from her parents, how dating is mainly a warmed-over bowl of hot mess, and definitely most important, meeting Bono not once, but twice. She’s struggled with being a woman with a political mind and a woman with an ever-changing jeans size. She knows about trash because she sees it every day–and because she’s seen roughly one hundred thousand hours of reality TV and zero hours of Schindler’s List.
With the intimate voice of a new best friend, Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay is a candid perspective for a generation that has had the rug pulled out from under it too many times to count.2 .
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