Francesca Royster has not one but two forthcoming books. The first, Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions, is the subject of Loyalty Books’ October conversation between the author and fellow writer Hanif Abdurraqib. (The second, Choosing Family: A Memoir of Queer Motherhood and Black Resistance, will undoubtedly be the subject of a future conversation, but that’s a story for another time.) For now, Royster takes to the virtual lectern to discuss her landmark nonfiction work, which, when it’s published on Oct. 4, will be the first book written by a Black author to focus on Black country music. A fan of country, Royster explores the genre in its full complexity, centering Black folk and drawing on Black feminist and queer theory—she intertwines reportage and interviews with Black fans and artists, with history, unpicking the style’s racist whitewashing and current reckoning and renaissance. The book is already receiving praise for being a timely exploration, summation, critique, and ode to Black country fans and artists. With Royster as a trusted guide, this conversation is an opportunity to trek through country music’s past and present, touching on greats from Tina Turner to Darius Rucker, and Our Native Daughters to Lil Nas X, so that we might understand the genre’s future. The discussion, hosted by Loyalty Bookstores, starts at 8 p.m. on Oct. 5 online. loyaltybookstores.com. Registration and donation required.
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