Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Frye Gaillard

A Parable of Integrity and Survival

A reissued biography affirms the legacy of harmonica virtuoso DeFord Bailey

David C. Morton and Charles K. Wolfe’s DeFord Bailey: A Black Star in Early Country Music chronicles the life and times of a legendary entertainer and musician.

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A Tennessee Memory of Sidney Poitier

The year was 1966, and two icons came to honor Fisk University’s centennial

We had seen Poitier’s most recent movie, A Patch of Blue, and we understood — how could we not? — the cultural relevance of his career. In films like Lilies of the Field, A Raisin in the Sun, and now his latest, Poitier embodied a reality he thought America must see: a Black man of dignity and strength.

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Costly Redemption

William Gay’s Fugitives of the Heart is an homage to Twain

Times are hard for the characters who populate William Gay’s Fugitives of the Heart, the last in a string of posthumous novels pieced together by his friends from an attic full of scenes Gay left behind. For J.M. White, Sonny Brewer, and the other writers who figured out how the scenes fit together, the effort was worth it, a forensic labor of love they feel even now for a writer who died in 2012.

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