A Web Portal For Lesbians Of Color
"Though I'm single, I've always wanted a child. I also know how much our children need love and support. When I heard Nia's birth mother's story, with her struggling already to parent one child and trying to do the right thing, I felt so grateful. Nia is the son I've always dreamed of." --Deidre McCalla
Deidre McCalla has three critically acclaimed CDs out on the Olivia label, has won several awards, and has played on over 100 college campuses in the last three years and at numerous folk festivals and concert halls including Carnegie Hall. Her music revels in love, grapples with loss, and moves on to ask deeper questions about life in a troubled world. Her shows are a melodic workout of tender ballads, politically progressive thought, and heart-warming humor, a celebration of the power and diversity of the human spirit that is both captivating and inspiring. Her brand of urban acoustic pop/folk is delivered with an honest open heart. Click here for the lyrics of the title song of her album
McCalla boldly admits what every rocker knows: Life begins with
an acoustic guitar. A compelling songwriter and singer,
McCalla's performances are a melodic workout of tender ballads,
politically progressive thought, and heartwarming humor. Deidre
McCalla's special brand of urban acoustic pop/folk is delivered
with an honest, open heart a celebration of the power and
diversity of the human spirit.
Deidre came of age during New York City's folk heyday - a time when the clubs of Greenwich Village were filled with the likes of Dylan, Baez, and Ochs; a time when Motown ruled the top of the charts and the streets of America screamed with anger and civil unrest. A contemporary troubadour who has spent the more than a decade crisscrossing the country, Deidre McCalla is a black woman in a white world viewing America's strength's and weaknesses from an African American lesbian perspective.
With three critically acclaimed albums under her belt, almost 300,000 miles on her present car, and concert credits that range from obscure coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall, Deidre has shared stages with a long list of notables that includes Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Odetta, Cris Williamson, The Flirtations, and Pete Seeger.
A single mom who homeschools her son, Deidre McCalla currently resides near Atlanta, Georgia.
McCalla, an Olivia Records artist, recorded her third album, "Everyday Heroes & Heroines." Her first two albums were "Don't Doubt It" and "With A Little Luck." She has performed concerts on more than 100 college campuses in the last three years and at numerous folk festivals and concert halls, including Carnegie Hall.
An ex-New Yorker, Deidre now lives near Atlanta. She came of age in the 60s and has shared the stage with Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Odetta, the Flirtations and Pete Seeger. She has received four New York Music Award nominations, a San Francisco Cable Car Award for Outstanding Recording, and was a Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Songwriters Competitions finalist.
On Home Schooling
The media portrayal of Americans who choose to school their children at home usually doesn’t get much past white, religious fundamentalist, and political conservative. But then there is Deidre McCalla, who is none of the above.
Ms. McCalla is a talented songwriter and singer whose performances blend tender ballads, humor, and politically progressive thought. Deidre has three critically acclaimed albums to her credit, and has done concerts in venues ranging from coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall. Her professional profile proclaims that she is “a black woman in a white world viewing America’s strengths and weaknesses from an African-American lesbian perspective.”
What attracted her to home schooling? Her mother, a waitress, and father, a warehouse worker, had sacrificed to send her to private Catholic boarding school, after she’d started in New York City public schools, and “perhaps as a result of private-school bias, I was never impressed with the behavior of kids I occasionally met from public schools.”
After moving to Georgia, she was all the more determined not to rely on government schools, given their segregationist past. She assumed she’d figure a way to send her son to a private school, but then she picked up a book entitled, The Home Schooling Handbook by Mary Griffith. Inspired by the work, “I then read everything I could get my hands on about home-schooling and realized how eminently do-able it was.”
One of the advantages she sees in home-schooling is the flexibility to deal with individual differences: “I’ve had to learn that he is a very different kind of learner than I am; he needs lots of hands-on-type materials, frequent breaks, and can be most attentive when he is allowed to move. I do not use a boxed curriculum because one size does not fit all. I spend a lot of time seeking out the best materials for him - and if it doesn’t work for him, I’ve learned to dump it and try something else.”
Her progressive world-view also informs her approach. She takes care to keep her son’s outlook as free as possible of sex-role stereotyping, and his studies include “the contributions of women, people of color, and the impact of colonialism on the indigenous peoples of the world. . . .”
As Deidre McCall put it, one thing unites otherwise diverse home schoolers: a belief that “conventional schooling is not serving the educational and social needs of our children.”
"McCalla's latest is a buoyant disc of beautifully sung, socially conscious love songs, tapping African American, alternative folk, and country roots." SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN
"Deidre McCalla is a voice of hope...willing to be human and sing about love and relationships...a singer so poignant and telling." PATRIOT STAR-LEDGER
Heroes and Heroines speaks of life's trials and tribulations.
Though it doesn't flinch in its depiction of urban turmoil, it
retains an energizing optimism, celebrating the renewing power
of love." CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Interview with Deidre McCalla, September 11, 2001. EducationNews.org http://www.educationnews.org/rise_of_home_schooling_among_afr.htm
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