• IRL Author Talk: Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion with Mitchell S. Jackson & Tay Butler-September 13 at 7PM CT

IRL Author Talk: Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion with Mitchell S. Jackson & Tay Butler-September 13 at 7PM CT

Pull up in your best to celebrate Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion with Pulitzer winning author, Michell S. Jackson and one of our favorite artist/community members, Tay Butler. 


When: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 7PM

Where: The Reading Room HTX (401 Franklin Street, 77201)

How: RSVP to grab your free ticket or RSVP book to reserve your seat and your copy of the book while supporting our programming. 


Equal parts stunning, photo-rich lookbook, and cultural commentary, Fly is the story of the extraordinary intersection of high fashion and basketball. Each chapter explores the style of an era and the cultural influences that shaped it: The league’s inception in 1949, pre-Civil Rights Movement, when the NBA was mostly comprised of white players who wore suits and skinny ties. The years following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the birth of funk and R&B when basketball fashion got flashier (think Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Wilt Chamberlain wearing fur coats and big hats). The Michael Jordan era of the 1980s and 1990s, with its oversize suits. The epic Iverson/Hip-Hop years of the late 1990s and early 2000s. And now to today, a time defined not only by social media and high fashion’s birthing of the tunnel walk (think LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Russell Westbrook), but one in which athletes are idealized as style icons and activists, figures who inspire conversations beyond how they play and what they wear. 

Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. Jackson’s debut novel, The Residue Years, won a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His essay collection Survival Math was named a best book of 2019 by fifteen publications. Jackson’s other honors include fellowships, grants, and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Creative Capital, the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, the Lannan Foundation, PEN America, and TED. His writing has been featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book ReviewTime, and Esquire, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Paris Review, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Jackson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Esquire. He holds the John O. Whiteman Dean’s Distinguished Professorship in the Department of English at Arizona State University.



Tay Butler is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and educator based in Houston, Texas. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas' Photography and Studio Art Program, BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and everything else from Milwaukee, MN. After retiring from the US Army and abandoning a middle-class  engineering career to search for purpose, Butler reignited a rich appreciation for Black history and a  deep obsession with the Black archive. Using past and present images to create a historically-layered  body of work, Tay reorients cultural material from the ever-growing Black experience.  
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