Shirlette Ammons “HELLO”
woman and two children

Shirlette Ammons “HELLO”


Shirlette Ammons is a Black queer southern truth teller, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV producer, poet, and musician. She is also an identical twin who hails from a tiny, wonderfully-named pocket of eastern North Carolina earth called Beautancus.

Given this wild set of identifiers, the thought of being someone else’s “spectacle” is not some theoretical consideration for shirlette; she has been “othered” her entire life. Her new album Spectacles, co_-_produced with Phil Cook, is a captivating and electric 11-track examination of the duality between being objectified by the proverbial, patriarchal, white gaze and cultivating attention when rocking stages. The record is a poignant expression of her own multitudes (here as songwriter, MC, bassist, producer & poet) rendered by a modern wellspring of Black Southern brilliance and her wider creative community featuring contributions from musicians, filmmakers and writers including genre-and-gender-defying performance artist Mykki Blanco, MacArthur-winning poet Fred Moten, Nigerian writer and chef Tunde Wey, Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, and radical feminist writer Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “the Beyoncé of yoga” Jessamyn Stanley, as well as her twin sister Shorlette Ammons and niece, Anansi Stephens. Ammons has always been a highly collaborative musician, whether making a record with the likes of soul-rock band The Dynamite Brothers or pairing The Indigo Girls,** Hiss Golden Messenger and Meshell Ndegocello** on the same LP, 2016’s Language Barrier.

shirlette is also an accomplished in film and television, serving as a producer on the acclaimed documentary, MAY THE LORD WATCH: THE LITTLE BROTHER STORY as well as a producer on Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series A CHEF’S LIFE and SOMEWHERE SOUTH, both of which aired on PBS. shirlette is the 2016 recipient of Black Public Media’s Pitch Black Prize which awarded funding towards completion of the THE HOOK, a documentary short that explores Black maritime history through the plight of chef Ricky Moore. She also served as producer on THE SEEDS WE KEEP (Oxford American) and STAY PRAYED UP, which debuted at Telluride Film Festival in September 2021. She is also an award-winning poet and a Cave Canem Fellow whose body of work includes two collections of poetry.

-Official bio

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