Arts Midwest is thrilled to host a writers roundtable featuring Quebec-based artist, Webster alongside two Midwestern voices, Roy Kinsey and Terrion Williamson. Their work offers inspiration to anyone striving to use the power of creative expression (in all its forms) to challenge common narratives and create space for themselves and their bold ideas.
Please join us for this special webinar on Wednesday, October 27 as these creatives explore their recent work, ranging from rap albums and children’s books to an anthology of the Black Midwest. They’ll also open up about their early influences as well as the struggle and satisfaction of finding their voice and harnessing their creativity.
Artist Aly Ndiaye, alias Webster, during an interview. Image courtesy of Webster
Watch a Webinar Conversation
Wednesday, October 27 at 12:30 pm CST
Arts Midwest invites you to a special conversation in advance of a free virtual performance featuring the musical talents of Webster and Roy Kinsey on October 28 at 6:30 pm CST. Register for the free performance.
Closed captioning will be available for this webinar. A recording of the webinar will be posted within 48 hours.
Meet the Speakers
Aly Ndiaye (Webster)
Hip-Hop Artist, Writer, & Speaker
Aly Ndiaye, aka Webster, is a veteran of the Quebec hip-hop scene. Active since 1995, he now travels the world through his concerts, creative writing workshops and lectures. Passionate about history, the rapper from Limoilou is particularly interested in slavery and the presence of people of African descent in Quebec and Canada since the time of New France. Webster is the author of a hip-hop writing manual, À l’Ombre des Feuilles (Québec Amérique, 2019), and a children’s book about Olivier Le Jeune, the first African slave in Canada, Le Grain de Sable (Septentrion, 2019). In 2019, he was the curator of the Fugitives! exhibition at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec about resistance to slavery through flight. He also has put together Qc History X tours, guided tours of the Old Quebec about slavery and the presence of people of African descent.
Dr. Terrion Williamson
Professor, Organizer, & Writer
Terrion L. Williamson is an associate professor of African American & African Studies and American Studies at the University of Minnesota, where she is also affiliate faculty in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, she currently serves as the director of the Black Midwest Initiative. She is the author of Scandalize My Name: Black Feminist Practice and the Making of Black Social Life, and the editor of Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest. Her current book project explores the link between black women and serial murder in the American Midwest.
Rapper, Writer, & Librarian
Chicago born and raised, Roy Kinsey is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to tradition in his respective industries where being a black, queer-identified, rapper, and librarian may be an intimidating choice for some, Roy Kinsey’s non-conformist ideology has informed his 6th album, and self-proclaimed, “best work yet,” Kinsey: A Memoir. Shaped by early traumas that threatened to debilitate his belief in himself as well as the abilities of his family. It is the manifestation of a queer man, in a black body, coming of age in Chicago. Kinsey has shared his lyrics on the stages of the legendary First Avenue in Minnesota, Thalia Hall, Soho House, Lincoln Hall, Logan Square Auditorium, Schuba’s, and Empty Bottle, and has recently done a series of performances/exhibitions with the Chicago Public Library’s seasonal book and theme programming of race and music, One Book, One Chicago. His professional development in librarianship has fueled his desire for self-examination and then reporting his findings, in rhyme. He intends and believes the success of his present and future creative works will touch the hearts of many because it comes from the heart. Roy Kinsey is a librarian in the Teen Services/Youmedia department for Chicago Public Libraries.
Presented by Arts Midwest in partnership with Illinois Humanities, and The Black Midwest Initiative. This event is part of our Quebec Artist Series made possible with generous financial support from the Québec Government Office in Chicago.