Dudley Randall--American


Dudley Randall


Randall was the founder of Broadside Press, a Detroit publishing company that published many leading African American writers.  Born in 1914, in Washington, D.C., Randall began writing poetry in his youth.  Throughout his life Randall held a number of jobs including working for the Ford Motor Company, U.S. Post Office, and then as a librarian, having received an advanced degree in library sciences.  He served in the military during World War II.  The “Ballad of Birmingham,” commemorating the 1963 bombing of a Baptist Church in which four young girls were killed is his most famous poem.  His first collection of poetry was Poem Counterpoem, published in 1966.  This was followed by Cities Burning, in 1968, and More to Remember in 1973.  Randall died in 2000.


In far-off Rabaul
I died for democracy.
Better I fell in Mississippi.



Splendid against the night
The searchlights, the tracers' arcs,
And the red flare of bombs
Filling the eye,
And the brain.



Your letter.
These medals.
This grave.