Gorton Center - Lake Forest, IL - FAN: The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are

FAN: The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are

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Event Series Event Series: FAN

FAN: The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are

Thu, November 16, 2023
7:00 pm
- 8:00 pm

Tariq Trotter and Theaster Gates


Thu, November 16, 2023 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


On Zoom

Today Tariq Trotter—better known as Black Thought—is the platinum-selling, three-time Grammy-winning co-founder of The Roots, and one of the most exhilaratingly skillful and profound rappers the culture has ever produced. But his story begins with a tragedy: as a child, Trotter burned down his family’s home. The years that followed are the story of a life snatched from the flames, forged in fire.

In The Upcycled Self: A Memoir on the Art of Becoming Who We Are, Trotter doesn’t just narrate a riveting and moving portrait of the artist as a young man but gives readers a courageous model of what it means to live an examined life. In vivid vignettes, he tells the dramatic stories of the four powerful relationships that shaped him—community, friends, art, and family—each a complex weave of love, discovery, trauma, and loss.

But beyond offering the compellingly poetic account of one artist’s creative and emotional origins, Trotter explores the vital questions we all must confront about our formative years: How can we see the story of our young lives clearly? How do we use that story to understand who we’ve become? How do we forgive the people who loved and hurt us? How do we rediscover and honor our first dreams? And finally, what do we take forward, what do we pass on, what do we leave behind? This is the beautifully bluesy story of a boy genius’s coming of age that illuminates the redemptive power of the upcycle.

Trotter is one of the most powerful voices in hip-hop and the winner of three NAACP Image Awards and leads the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, joined by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (FAN ’21), co-founder of The Roots.

Trotter will be in conversation with artist, archivist, and curator Theaster Gates, a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the College. Prof. Gates creates work that focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture, and performance.

This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on FAN’s website and YouTube channel.

BONUS BOOK GIVEAWAY! We are giving away copies of The Upcycled Self to randomly selected Zoom attendees.

Gorton Center will take and may use photos and videos from this event for its promotional purposes. Your attendance indicates your consent to the above.


On Zoom