Born on this day, Dudley Randall was a famous African-American poet and poetry publisher from Detroit, Michigan. He founded a pioneering publishing company called Broadside Press in 1965, which published many leading African-American writers, among them Melvin Tolson, Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, Etheridge Knight, Margaret Walker, and others. Randall’s most famous poem is “The Ballad of Birmingham”, written in response to the 1963 bombing of the Baptist church that Martin Luther King, Jr belonged to in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four girls were killed. Randall’s poetry is characterized by simplicity and realism. Other well-known poems of his include “A Poet is not a Jukebox”, “Booker T. and W.E.B.”, and “The Profile on the Pillow”.
On “Ballad of Birmingham”. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign