Rhiannon Giddens

Author Speaker

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Virtual Presentation


Author Speaker Rhiannon Giddens, ALA Annual Chicago, June 22-27, 2023

About the Author

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens is a Grammy Award winner and co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an innovative black string band founded in 2006, and the Black female supergroup Our Native Daughters, whose 2019 album, "Songs of Our Native Daughters," was named one of the best albums of that year by NPR. She is the recipient of a 2022 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for her collaboration with Francesco Turrisi on "They’re Calling Me Home," and she has been nominated for additional Grammy awards as a soloist and collaborator. A musician, singer, songwriter, actor, librettist, and MacArthur Fellow, her many roles and honors include serving as artistic director at Silkroad and performing for the Obamas at the White House. The author of "Build a House," illustrated by Monica Mikai, Giddens lives in Ireland.

About the Session

Giddens will discuss her new book, "We Could Fly," a moving tale of grace and transcendence, illustrated by acclaimed artist Briana Mukodiri Uchendu. At a sparrow's urging, a young girl feels a mysterious trembling in her arms, a lightness in her feet, a longing to be free. Her mother tells her that her Granny Liza experienced the same, as did many of their people before her. "Perhaps it's time," Mama says, "to slip the bonds of earth and join the journey started long ago. To hold each other tight and rise." Drawing on lyrics from the song "We Could Fly" by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell, which in turn draw on a heritage of African folklore, this incantatory dialogue between a mother and daughter paired with startlingly beautiful illustrations celebrates love, resilience, and the spiritual power of the "old-time ways"tradition and shared cultural memoryto sustain and uplift. "We Could Fly" is available November 2023.

K.C. Boyd - Image

K.C. Boyd - Moderator

K.C. Boyd is a school librarian with the District of Columbia Public Schools System. She has previously worked as the Lead Librarian for the East St. Louis School District #189 in East St. Louis, IL., an Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools, and a District Coordinator for the Mayor Daley Book Club for Middle School Students. She is a second-generation educator and holds Master’s degrees in Library Information Science, Media Communications, and Education Leadership. Boyd was the national 2022 School Library Journal Magazine, “Librarian of the Year.” 

Boyd currently serves on the executive boards for the District of Columbia Library Association and Washington Teachers Union. She is an active committee member for the American Library Association Chapter Council, representing Washington D.C., and the EveryLibrary Institute/Advisory Board. She is also a member of the District of Columbia Public Schools Library Corps and serves on the AASL School Library Event Promotion Committee. She is also currently a National Ambassador representing the Washington D.C. area for Checkology Virtual Classroom and The News Literacy Project. Boyd is the recipient of the American Consortium for Equity in Education 2022 Excellence in Equity Award and the 2022 National Association of State Boards of Education “Policy Leader of the Year Winner.”

A staunch advocate for school libraries, she is widely known and respected for her work with educating parents, teachers, and district officials on the promotion of leisure reading for children and teens. Additionally, she is a sought-after and popular keynote speaker and conference presenter at the national level. It is Boyd’s belief that all children, despite economic circumstance, have the right to read and should have access to books that reflect themselves and encourage inquiry. Boyd can be reached through her website, http://www.kcboyd.com/.

We Could Fly by Rhiannon Giddens book cover image



Penguin Random House Image