Alice Randall is the author of five novels, including The Wind Done Gone and Black Bottom Saints. With her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, she co-authored the acclaimed cookbook Soul Food Love, which won the NAACP Image Award. She is guest-editing the Oxford American’s forthcoming food issue.
An essay from the Greatest Hits Music Issue
A better South, the Up South, insists that Black artistry and industry be recognized for their excellence, and that the measure of Black art be located in the pleasure of Black audience.
Nobody knew this better than LaVern Baker and no place provided a more significant Black audience than the Up South metropolis that was the Motor City
I knew I wanted to be the first black woman Harvard graduate to write a country song—and I thought I knew DeFord Bailey, the groundbreaking harmonica player, was the first and only black person to perform as part of the Opry.
Nobody had told me about Linda Martell.