Los Angeles, CA–Author, feminist, educator and advocate Sikivu Hutchinson just released her new novel, “The Life and Times of Rory Tharpe,” which focuses on the rarely celebrated stories of Black Queer women in Rock and Roll.
“It’s the late 1970s, and ex-Pentecostal Black queer female electric guitarist Rory Tharpe navigates the cutthroat world of corporate rock, dive bars, dusk-to-dawn recording sessions, and shady contracts as she travels the nation in a dilapidated tour bus with her bickering, boozing all-male band.
Much-imitated and little-credited, Rory is in a late career tailspin when she goes on tour with international superstar Jude Justis, a white woman blues-rock singer who has built a turbulent mega-platinum career out of stealing from Black musicians.”
Hutchinson is the author of several books including, Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (Lang, 2003), Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (Infidel Books, 2011), Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (Infidel Books, 2013), the novel White Nights, Black Paradise (2015), on Black Women, Peoples Temple and the Jonestown massacre and Humanists in the Hood: Unapologetically Black, Feminist, and Heretical (Pitchstone, 2020).
Purchase: Rock ‘n’ Roll Heretic: The Life and Times of Rory Tharpe
Hutchinson has authored several plays including Grinning Skull, Narcolepsy Inc, and White Nights, Black Paradise.
“If you love fearless, bold, unapologetic strong leads, then Rock ‘n’ Roll Heretic is for you. Paying homage to the great trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, this book is filled with twists and turns that will leave you rethinking rock music as you know it. Sikivu has created a masterpiece that will challenge history and entertain readers for years.”
—Malina Moye, electric guitarist, international recording artist, and co-founder of the Drive Hope Foundation
Hutchinson also helps lead the Women’s Leadership Project, a South L.A based gender justice organization for young and undocumented women of color. She has long been an advocate and mentor to young girls. Especially, the next generation of thought leaders in her local community, helping them to curate events and discussions around issues.
The next event curated by the Women’s Leadership Project along with #Standing4BlackGirls is their Women’s History Month Roundtable, celebrating Black Women in Rock’n’Roll. This youth-led zoom will discuss the impact of Black women in Rock along with artists including Ghetto Songbird.