I’m sitting in the living room of Theresha Williams’s grandparents’ house. Her grandma, Theresa, who she is slightly named after, is out voting. I’m relaxing on a black leather ottoman, which has a slight crack in it, revealing the cloudlike stuffing underneath. Theresha’s grandfather, John Smith, is sitting on a sheet-draped couch. He’s wearing a striped blue button-up shirt, a black vest, and jeans with work boots. He looks young for his age—more like Theresha’s father than grandfather.
The living room is cluttered with unopened boxes of computer equipment, Theresha’s toys, her grandmother’s fuzzy white slippers, and her uncle’s backpacks. Theresha’s uncles, both in high school, are in the back bedrooms. I ask about the boxes and discover that Theresha’s grandfather is planning to start a T-shirt making business; each box contains a high-tech and expensive-looking printer. I don’t know if he’s being facetious. He later tells me that he will be producing his and Theresha’s songs. This sounds far-fetched to me, but he says it with a straight face.
We hope you enjoy this excerpt.