‘YOU SO BLACK’ By Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. Is The Children’s Book You Wish You Had In Your Youth

‘YOU SO BLACK’ By Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. Is The Children’s Book You Wish You Had In Your Youth

MADAMENOIRE sat down with viral poet Theresa Wilson, who is widely known as Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., on an early Tuesday morning to discuss being oh so Black and her new work, You So Black, a children’s book. Tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.‘s infamous poem, by the same name, was adapted into a beautiful, chocolate proclamation set against bold illustrations created by artist London Ladd after a performance of the poem made the rounds across social media. The text, aptly published by Denene Millner Books, a Black children’s imprint, drops Jan. 10.


MADAMENOIRE: I want to get up in your business a little bit and talk about how this children’s book came to be.

Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D: This book is a work of divine placement. That’s the best way I can put it. This book is just the work of leaning into your purpose, being at the right place at the right time, and being willing to say “yes” when the call is put up. That’s literally the vibe of how this book came to be. I know for a lot of people, creating a children’s book or any book of any kind, it’s such a supreme endeavor. When I did my first self-published book, it was the hardest thing I ever did. But this process has been so seamless. Everything about this process has been absolutely seamless.


This book You So Black is derivative of a poem that you wrote. When you crafted poem, did you have children in mind?

I had all Black people in mind as I was writing the poem. As I was conceptualizing and editing, every time I went through the poem, I could feel the visceral respect. It’s like, I could feel my ancestors being like, “Go ‘head, girl, yes … that’s what I want you to say.” I knew I had permission from the ancestors, from my elders. You know what I mean? I could feel the permission being given as I was writing it.


I enjoyed reading You So Black, turning the pages and spending time with it. It’s a children’s book, but I took my time with it. What I got from the book was that Black is just, like, everything. What do you want children to get out of You So Black?

I want all children to be exposed to art and poetry. Like, on a level of education. I think poetry, art, being able to think outside of the box is not just a talent but a skill that every child should possess. In terms of the content of the book and the pages and the history and the references, I want children’s interests to be peaked in themselves. I want them to look at the pages. I want them to hear the words, and I want them to feel deeply about themselves that they are great, that they are brilliant and resilient and infinite and powerful beyond measure.


Absolutely. You mentioned art. Poetry is an art form in and of itself. In terms of literary forms, it’s is one of oldest. What’s it like to marry your art with the visual art that we see on the page, the work illustrated by London Ladd?

Again, it’s a call back to my first answer in terms of being divinely placed and being willing to lean into your purpose. Once London got the text of the children’s book and of the video of my viral performance of the poem, he didn’t really get any more direction or input him. I didn’t have any conversations. I don’t think he had a whole lot of conversation with the editor. It was just, ‘go and do what your heart feels about these words’ and what came out of him in response to my poetry is nothing short of breathtaking, nothing short of a masterpiece. I am so in awe of every single page of the book.


It’s a gorgeous book.

Beautiful. The textures, the colors. It’s so moving.


Yes, it’s so Black. But it takes some trust, right? A level of trust, to be able to do that.

Oh, absolutely.


So, what was it like to trust your words with the editor?

Denene Millner was so tenacious about getting this book made. Yes. And honestly, I did not have the vision that she had or what my poem could become. So, because she was so adamant about getting the book made and because her spirit is one that you want to trust, I just moved in that. I moved in how tenacious she was about getting the book, making the book happen.

She asked me maybe three, at least three times she asked me about making the poem into the book. And in the midst of COVID and all the protesting that was happening early in 2020, I think I was more open to all of what was going on, to say yes to the process. But once we said yes, there was no fear for me. I gave any fear I had away. I gave any concern I had away because I knew it was going to be. I just knew something in my fear was like, “it’s going to be done right, so don’t even worry about it. You’ve already done the hard work, right?”


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Denene Millner Books (@denenemillnerbooks)


You were asked three times, what was your hesitation? Are you sensitive about your shit?

I think in all of it, being a poet, not just sensitive, but like, I’ve been a poet a long time. We are good and grow. We ain’t going to have to tell nobody how old we are soon enough. You can Google how old we are, but we good and grow. We’ve been doing this a long time. I graduated from college in the early 2000s. You know what I’m saying? The early 2000s. So, I have committed my life to wanting to be a “poet.” It leaves a lot of room for the first half of that first syllable of that word to run you. It was a lot of “po” in my poet.


I like what you did there. 

I was “po” for a lot of my career. So, when I finally got to doing television and I was just starting to get my footing, I was trying to really understand how to make a living at doing this thing that I was very passionate about. So, when You So Black became a viral thing, as much as I was grateful for it, I had to catch up. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., the businesswoman, had to catch up with where the rest of the world was putting me.

It took me a while to get comfortable in this place, in all honesty. Just visibility, the accolade that comes along with all of the millions of views and all of that, it takes a moment for your brain to acclimate with that. So, when Denene initially asked me about the book, this is so very fresh, it was still maybe a month or two into the whole viral sensation. When she asked me again the second time, it was almost in passing. I was doing so many things. I was like, ‘yeah, girl, I’ll think about it.’ But that third time, once we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and the world was quieter, my mind was quieter.

I was in a place where I was at peace. I was at peace with where my career was, the amount of work I had to do, where I could go; the vision would be clear, I could see it. So there was nothing blocking the guest. I think really the only thing in the way was me. It was me and God trying and working on me so that I would be able to have these kinds of conversations.

So, when the question came up, I could tell the truth and not be ashamed to tell the truth. Because I know for a lot of artists who desire, who desire to be effective, who desire to be good at what they do, and who desire to have the response from the audience of, ‘you are good at what you do,’ it’s also that fear of greatness, that fear of success. But we ain’t got that no more.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. (@thasongbird)


Let me ask you, will you do this again?

Oh, absolutely. Not only will I do it again, I’ve already got a second book based on some of my very Afrocentric poetry geared towards little girls. I’ve got that book ready to go. I’ve also got another series of books that are also based in poetic form that are more of like a story of an adventure that is being told. I don’t want to give away too much, but yes, I am very open for the children’s book market now, and I’m still writing the things that matter to me. I’m also lowkey working on a book for the grown-ups as well, another collection of poetry.


I couldn’t help reference Gwendolyn Brooks when I was reading the book. You stand on the shoulders of many great Black poets who are women. I’m curious about who is your favorite. Who were some of the woman who were instrumental in your direction and becoming a poet?

As a young person, I was very into Maya Angelou. She was definitely a pillar of how I built myself as a poet, probably from my teenage years into my early college years. Once I got into college, I actually had a professor who was a poet, and her name is Dr. Monique Ferrell. And Dr. Ferrell, or Dr. T, as we lovingly called her in school, Dr. T was everything African. She was everything powerful. She was everything about owning yourself in a room. I took a Toni Morrison lit class with her, but I also read her book of poetry from front to back.

I’ve done quite a few panels now with Nikki Giovanni. To have her hear my poem and tell me how awesome my poetry is. I called my mom.


Listen, that’s something to call home and tell the folks about for sure. Where are you at?

I live in Atlanta. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Both of my parents are from Mississippi, so I claim all three places as my own.


Listen, I’m a Mississippi, ATL Alien, from New York. I get it. 

I’m going to say you’re probably like me. Where your family sent you to the south for all the holidays and all the summers?


Definitely for summer.

The day school let out to the day school let back in. I was in Mississippi.


So where can people find your information?

The best way to do it is via my website or follow me on social media, my Instagram @thasongbird. You can really find me everywhere at @thasongbird.


This might be shameless, but may I ask you to read a verse from You So Black?

Yeah, absolutely. I don’t mind at all. Whenever you’re ready.


I’m ready.

Black was privileged/ Black was pride/

Black on purpose/ on the Black hand side/

Black and beautiful/ Black is Black and so much more/

Black and nothing left.


Thank you. That was beautiful. Congratulations and thank you for creating this work for us. 

Thank you.


RELATED CONTENT: ‘Ain’t That A Mother’: Author Adiba Nelson Talks Motherhood, Representation And Book Cover Reveal

Read More From Source

‘YOU SO BLACK’ By Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. Is The Children’s Book You Wish You Had In Your Youth

Divisions of Shy Paris Entertainment
Shyparis Entertainment Shy Paris Bookings Linkz Radio Klublinks Shy Paris

Klublinks is a Division of

❤Shy Paris Entertainment ||||| International Spectacular Events, Stellar Event Planning and Management, & Celebrity Booking Agency. Please contact us as we can provide you with both international and/or local renowned full service event planning and management, & celebrity bookings at shyparisentertainment@gmail.com or
CONTACT: Email: shyparisentertainment@gmail.com
Facebook: ShyParis Youtube: @Shyparis Twitter: @Shyparisent Instagram: shyparisentertainment Whatsapp: 1-437-259-3399


✅ ShyParisentertainment.co – https://shyparisentertainment.co
✅ Shyparisbookings.com – https://shyparisbookings.com
✅ Linkzradio.com – https://linkzradio.com
✅ Klublinks.com – https://klublinks.com
✅ Shypariswebdesign.com – https://shypariswebdesign.com
✅ ❤️ Shyparis – htttps://shyparis.com❤️

Leave a Comment

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop