A conversation with Ricky Tucker
To kick off Pride season, join the Library and Loyalty Bookstores for an afternoon of rich conversation with Ricky Tucker, author of And the Category Is...: Inside New York's Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community. Joined by Michael Roberson and Reginald Douglass of Mosaic Theater, Ricky will discuss his love letter to New York's ballroom community and its abundant legacy and influence in popular culture.
Books will be available for purchase, and a limited number will be given away courtesy of the DC Public Library Foundation.
Following the event at 3:30, head up to Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library for And the Category Is... Community Vogue Showcase & Competition at the Mt. Pleasant Library feat. Ricky Tucker. Dance for the Gods! Hit the runway, vogue, and win prizes alongside your fabulous neighbors!
This event is for ages 13+ and supported by the Mt. Pleasant Library Friends.
About the Book
What is Ballroom? Not a song, a documentary, a catchphrase, a TV show, or an individual pop star. It is an underground subculture founded over a century ago by LGBTQ African American and Latino men and women of Harlem. Arts-based and intersectional, it transcends identity, acting as a fearless response to the systemic marginalization of minority populations.
Ricky Tucker pulls from his years as a close friend of the community to reveal the complex cultural makeup and ongoing relevance of house and Ballroom, a space where trans lives are respected and applauded, and queer youth are able to find family and acceptance. With each chapter framed as a "category" (Vogue, Realness, Body, et al.), And the Category Is . . . offers an impressionistic point of entry into this subculture, its deeply integrated history, and how it's been appropriated for mainstream audiences. Each category features an exclusive interview with fierce LGBTQ/POC Ballroom members--Lee Soulja, Benjamin Ninja, Twiggy Pucci Garçon, and more--whose lives, work, and activism drive home that very category.
At the height of public intrigue and awareness about Ballroom, thanks to TV shows like FX's Pose, Tucker's compelling narratives help us understand its relevance in pop culture, dance, public policy with regard to queer communities, and so much more. Welcome to the norm-defying realness of Ballroom.
About the Author
Ricky Tucker is a writer, educator, and culture critic based in NYC. His work explores the imprints of art and memory on narrative, and the absurdity of most fleeting moments. He has written for the Paris Review, the Tenth Magazine, LitHub, and Public Seminar, among others, and performed for reading series including the Moth Grand SLAM, Sister Spit, and Born: Free. His L.A. Times best-selling debut, And the Category Is…Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community (Beacon Press) was chosen by Pitchfork as one of its 15 Best Music Books of 2022, and is now a finalist for for the 2023 LAMBDA Literary Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction. It is available online and in stores.
About the co-panelist and moderator
Michael Roberson is a public health practitioner, advocate, activist, artist, curator, and leader within the LGBTQ community. He is the co-creator of the nation’s only Black Gay Research group and National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition, as well as an Adjunct Professor at The New School University/Lang College NYC, and Union Theological Seminary NYC. He is an international art and politics consultant and a member of the international sound art collective entitled “Ultra-red.” Michael scholar in residence for the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy, as well as recent TED Media Resident, where he performed a global TED talk about the underground Black/Latinx House/ball ballroom community, entitled “The enduring legacy of ballroom." For Black History Month 2021, Michael co-authored an article in Time Magazine titled "Why Voguing and the Ballroom Scene Matter Now More than Ever." Michael also co-created a “Respect in The Workplace” curriculum and training for Vice Media, and trained all of Vice’s staff in their Brooklyn offices and Los Angeles offices. Michael also served as a cultural consultant for the Pose FX television show.
Reginald L. Douglas is a director, producer, and advocate dedicated to creating new work and supporting new voices. He was recently named the Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater in Washington DC, following two years of service as the Associate Artistic Director of Studio Theatre.
|Mon, May 29||Closed|
|Tue, May 30||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Wed, May 31||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Thu, Jun 01||9:30AM to 9:00PM|
|Fri, Jun 02||9:30AM to 5:30PM|
|Sat, Jun 03||9:30AM to 5:30PM|
|Sun, Jun 04||1:00PM to 5:00PM|