Thursday, January 31, 2013


Renée Watson is the author of the children's picture book, Harlem's Little Blackbird and A Place Where Hurricanes Happen. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association. Renée's one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at New York City's Lincoln Center at a showcase for emerging artists. When Renée is not writing and performing, she is teaching.

Renée has worked in public schools and community organizations as an artist in residence for several years, eaching poetry, fiction, and theater in Oregon, Louisiana, and New York City.

One of Renée's passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma. She has facilitated poetry and theatre workshops with young girls coping with sexual and physical abuse, children who have witnessed violence, children coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and children who relocated to New York City after the 201 0 earthquake in Haiti. Renée graduated from The New School, where she studied Creative Writing and earned a certificate in Drama Therapy. Renée currently lives in New York City. Visit Renée at
Can a voice stop the rain?

Can it take you around the world?

Can it change people’s minds about justice and equality?

Growing up in Washington, DC, at the turn of the twentieth century, Florence Mills knew that she was blessed with a gift—a sweet, birdlike singing voice that everyone loved. But she also knew firsthand the profound ache of racism.

When she moved to New York City, the stages got bigger, the lights grew brighter, and offers that could make her an international star were hers for the taking. Instead, Florence chose shows that helped promote other black performers. And she sang songs that heralded the call for civil rights.

Together Renée Watson’s gorgeously evocative prose and Christian Robinson’s stunning mixed-media art shine a light on this little-known but much-loved member of the Harlem Renaissance elite—a performer whose story may have faded from the history books, but whose influence resonated long after she sang her last song.

Read Renée's interview in the NOV/DEC issue of SORMAG Digital

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